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|CLIMATE CHANGE IN CONTEXT
Emission Reduction Strategies to Reduce the Impacts of Climate Change
Planners for buildings, bridges and roadways as well as conservation authorities controlling watershed floodplains use century old or “back to the future” planning. I.e. the worst-case scenario of the past 100 years is the gold standard- that by which they draw upon when considering new projects. – Maximum flood lines, bridge heights, snow loads for roofs etc.
Extreme weather events over the last few decades and projected climate change impacts should now replace “back to the future” planning. Using recent data – from 1961 to 1991 and projecting these trends into 2040 and beyond using climate change scenarios is a more realistic way to plan future buildings and associated infrastructure – sewers, bridges, power supply lines etc.
Green roof projects and designing buildings as ecosystems in an envelope, which can regulate internal conditions regardless of seasonal conditions, are pilot projects in 2004. Many are insulating their homes and sealing heat leaks because of increased fuel costs – this also serves to reduce the amount of fossil fuel burned and hence the CO2 and heat Released.
Climate change scenarios show that extreme weather events will be more extreme and occur more frequently. Infrastructure replacements and planned should such storm protection, water treatment, storage and supply facilities. The 2004 Peterborough flooding, due to 200mm of rain falling in a very short time caused $88 million dollars damage.
This event has shown municipalities that they must coordinate management of ground and surface water supplies, water and sewage lines, sewage and water treatment plants and large volume water transfers as they rebuild.
One new integrated approach undertaken by the Meteorological Service of Canada-Environment Canada and Emergency Management Ontario supported by the Innovation and Learning Fund of Environment Canada, acknowledges the hazards of the future.
The new website enables municipalities, emergency coordinators and the general public to become aware of the hazards in a timely fashion and put into practice the protective measures that will help reduce future damage due to extreme weather events. See www.hazards.ca
Solar, wind, heat pumps as off-grid generation of electricity using less or no fossil fuel, and public transportation, energy conserving appliances, better insulation of buildings are all measures which reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the amount of heat released.
Reducing use of fossil fuel generated electricity and use of vehicles also reduces the carbon dioxide emissions -i.e. mitigates the effects of climate change.