OUR MISSION: ACER supports communities, government agencies and corporations in taking action to reduce biodiversity loss and strengthen climate resilience by increasing and monitoring urban and riparian zone forest canopy.

By sector


Seven sectors of Ontario’s economy are challenged to find ways to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases – or mitigate the effects of climate change. Three major types of activities that apply to all sectors are outlined below. Sectors in Ontario: a to g.

Mitigation – ways to reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases – represents a new direction for our future as a sustainable and healthy community. The sectors discussed here are key to reducing the impacts of climate change. Government policies and action on emission reduction or mitigation in all ministries are especially important now.

The province faces the double challenge of climate change and a growing population. The present premier and his government has committed itself to a vision of Conservation Culture – which includes encouraging us to reduce our consumption of fossil fuel.

Source: H. Hengeveld et al., (2002) Science and Impacts of Climate Change CD -Presentation Graphics MSC Environment Canada/ ESS Natural Resources Canada, December.

Three activities are described below for use in any or all of a to g

Read all 3 and discuss your choice of activity and your sector topic with your supervisor to avoid duplicate assignments from these or new personal choices.

How will changes in these sectors affect the amount of carbon dioxide released annually?

  • buildings/construction
  • transportation
  • industry
  • agriculture
  • waste management
  • energy supply
  • forestry

Activity ONE – Class teams approach with individual options.

1. Check out the Ontario Sectors shown as ministries in the government of Ontario. www.gov.on.ca
2. Form class teams. Each team member chooses one sector or ministry as their main focus – E.g. Agriculture@gov.on.ca
3. Each team member then copies the mandate for their ministry and then searches the rest of the ministry or sector web site for news releases, policy announcements, agencies which mention the environment – or mitigation efforts

e.g.1 A act, bill, permit, regulation etc. to reduce fossil fuel consumption or to establish new government positions or programs which support this idea.

e.g.2 A press release about new permits to build windmills, or rebates on the purchase hybrid cars or insist on a % of methanol in the gasoline sold within the last year.

4. Each team member signs up to collect reports, articles, ads as mentioned in the #3 for a scrap book of their findings and present a report over the next month for a their sector.
5. The team captains and teacher organize a class presentation day. Each team will report to the rest of the class on the progress that is being made in each sector in Ontario on the topic of mitigation or emission reduction strategies.

NOTE: there may be other ministries that your team members wish to follow that could be added to this list.

P. S. Also check out the Environment Bill of Rights – www.eco.on.ca

Activity TWO – Individual Research and reporting
1. Choose one of the following ideas for one of the sectors.
2. Research it to answer the following questions.
a) is the idea in practice already, in the research stage or concept stage?
b) what positive benefits and what negative consequences could/ have come from implementing this idea?
c) what steps would be needed to make it good government policy and support introduction of the idea in Ontario?

Choices: The sectors are listed below with several ideas in each for choosing a topic.

Discuss any idea to reduce dependence on the burning fossil fuels with your supervisor to avoid duplication in class – whether on this list or not!

a -Infrastructure design:

Green Roof construction, incineration of waste to provide institutional heating, revised building codes for greater extreme weather protection and safety. Aquifer and well water ownership and priorities Eg. How are urban users, at some distance to the Great Lakes, able to receive water from the Great Lakes? How is payment adjusted to allow this? Water meter installation in all communities to reducing water usage. Energy is also saved in pumping and treating water and sewage as well as reducing water use.

“Smart ” electrical meter installation re rates for off peak usage to encourage using less energy especially at peak times and less energy over all.

b-Transportation :

New technology engines, no idling laws, /bus car pool lanes priority in traffic lanes / private vehicles must yield to buses – light rapid transit to airports- alternate fuel and smaller vehicles for local delivery and in city driving.

Improved rail track to allow more and faster service eg Windsor Montreal corridor.

Interchangeability of rail, ship and truck cargo containers.

Conversions of small engines to less polluting and more efficient use energy.

Eg leaf blowers, lawn mowers, motor bikes, recreational land and water vehicles.

c – Industry:

Increased efficiency insulation and air movement in factories, apartments, residences, commercial buildings to reduce energy use. Rethink to Reduce energy use in the factory itself eg Loblaws using heat released from refrigeration units for heating stores, eg.

Smarter technology to increase efficiency and reduce use of fossil fuels at factories
eg. co-generation at Canada Starch Company, Cardinal, Ontario.

Rethink and redesign where needed -from purchasing raw materials to accounting and production, to the design, use and delivery of the product or service. E.g, Defasco- recycling metals, Hamilton Ontario, Interface Flooring- leased carpet squares. Belleville Ontario.

See references: natural step, energy audits, waste audits, recycling grey water, R3000.

d – Agriculture -green cover plan, nutrient management plans, crops for new CHU’s.

Use of GPS to fertilize fields “on demand”, reducing both manufacture and application.

Machinery with alternate fuels eg recycled oils or biogas and greater efficiency.

Incentives for crop vs. forest cover incentives – riparian shade, sloughs, burms,

e – Waste management – organics separated for composting, incineration with proper scrubbers etc to process toxic and regular waste with generation of heat eg. steam to heat institutions or generate electricity.

Packaging reduction, bag limits, manufacturers redesign for disassemble e.g. computers.

Reclaiming wastes for recycling or new uses, eg. grey water ecology.

Separate sewage/runoff lines for more efficient treatment and avoidance of storm water/sewage mixing.

f – Energy Supply

Encouragement of efficient appliances , smart meters with time/rate discounts, off grid return sales for solar, wind, heat pumps, bonuses for reductions in levels of use.

Increased parking urban costs, green belt planning includes local food growers.

Parking lots nodal design connected for transfer to local transit GTA continuous loop tickets.

Cooperative, joint venture windmill, water-power or solar power installations
Planned replacements for ice roads for far north deliveries.? New Dirigibles design?

Activity THREE – Individual

Human efforts to reduce the sources and enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases
i.e. reduce energy use and emissions- manage for a conservation culture may include:

Changes in Individual behaviour with respect to:

Reducing nutrients and runoff eg from fertilizing lawns, washing cars, crops or farm

Participation in planting, mulch and measure programs: private, public – forest, field,

Purchasing energy efficient light bulbs or appliances with lower energy requirements

Joining a cooperative car share program with purchasing discounts and reasonable insurance.

Buying locally-food, manufactured products or service to reduce transportation costs as well as provide local jobs and reduce commuting.

Greening of cooperative buildings, apartment buildings, townhouses, detached home

Installation of non-fossil fuel sources electrical energy – wind, solar, heat pump

Reducing domestic electrical energy usage

Reducing domestic water usage

Carrying out regular engine tune ups and tire checks for reduced fuel consumption

Purchase of hybrid and/or hydrogen vehicles or micro vehicle.

Choose design with reduce phantom power -standby modes/energy savers /cutouts

See the One-Tonne Challenge too!

1. Choose one of the above or one of your choice that is a emission reduction strategy. Discuss this with your family for more ideas.
2. Research what, where and how – even if – your choice is being done already.
3. Before you begin, design the steps to be taken to show the expected change in individual behaviour and steps needed to carry out and to evaluate your task.
4. Set up your activities log for later analysis for savings.
5. Implement your plan for at least one month.
6. Your log should allow you to calculate how much the greenhouse gas production was reduced as a result of your activities. Add this to your one-tonne challenge total.