Climate Change and Pollution

Why the Need for Renewable Energy?

  • The principal concern regarding climate change is the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • In Canada, over 80% of greenhouse gas emissions are directly linked with the production and consumption of fossil fuels for energy
  • In 2008 Canadian greenhouse emissions were approximately 734 mega tonnes, a decrease of 16 mega tonnes from the previous year. This improvement is thanks to Canada’s efforts to use larger amounts of renewable energy
  • Although Canada is improving, we are still approximately 34% above our target of 558 mega tonnes

Pollution Kills

  • Air pollution causes approximately 9,500 deaths a year in Ontario
  • According to a report from the Ontario Ministry of the Environment:
    • 5,800 people died in 2005 as a result of pollution
    • Air pollution costs Ontario approximately $9.6 billion annually
    • In 2005, air pollution caused 66,000 people in Ontario to visit emergency rooms
    • Heath damages caused by pollution costs Ontario approximately $6.6 billion
    • Pollution causes $165 million and $51 million in lost agricultural and forestry productivity respectively
  • According to the Canadian Medical Association
    • Annual deaths in Canada from pollution will rise 83% to 39,000 deaths by 2031
    • Deaths from short term exposure will increase to 4,900/year by 2013
    • 18,000 people will be admitted to the hospital due to the effects of pollution in 2031, a dramatic increase from the 11,000 in 2008
    • In 2031, 940,000 people will visit doctors’ offices, an increase of more than 300,000 people from 2008
    • By 2031, pollution will have cost the Canadian economy and heath care system approximately $250 billion
  • Pollution causes 40% of deaths worldwide