Preamble: Climate change is one of the most critical challenges facing humanity today. The process of change unleashed by the rapid rise of atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, historically and today, has the potential capacity to alter our economic systems, ecological networks and social relationships.

To minimize any potential adverse impacts of climate change, significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are needed on an urgent basis. Yet achieving these reductions will be challenging given current reliance on fossil fuel–based energy systems for the achievement of economic development.

Combating climate change therefore requires finding answers to fundamental questions such as:

  • How do we significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while still meeting growing energy needs both at home and in developing countries?
  • How to we reduce the vulnerability of communities to the impacts of a changing climate and prepare them to take the necessary actions to adapt to these changes?
  • How do we do this on an urgent basis?

Resolution:

a) The Manitoba Government needs to increasingly undertake action to help Manitoba business and citizens to mitigate and prepare for the effects of climate change through a comprehensive strategy, based on solid research, shared knowledge and strong partnerships with key stakeholders.

b) The Manitoba Government can further reduce Manitoba’s GHG emissions with projects leading to commercial use of clean energy sources, including but not limited to biomass for energy.

Resolution Report:  

The Manitoba Chambers of Commerce produces Resolution reports as part of its commitment to be accountable to its members. The reports are updated as matters unfold and have two components:

MCC Advocacy: Specific activities the MCC has done to help make this Resolution a reality. 

Developments:  All other information (e.g. government action, media coverage, reports) that relates to Resolution. 

Advice, comments, and information sharing are welcome; simply enter a reply at the bottom of this post.

MCC Advocacy: 

May 15, 2011: The 2011-2012 Resolutions were posted on the MCC website, listed as part of a comprehensive Report on AGM 2011 and then notice of this story was circulated through a news release as well as in an MCC E-Update which is sent to all MCC members, Media and Government.

June 22, 2011: Resolution books were sent to every MLA and every Member of Parliament that hails from Manitoba. The following had this Resolution specifically drawn to their attention with a detailed letter setting out the background to this issue, Government initiatives (where applicable), and an argument for the Resolution:

  • The Minister of Innovation, Energy and Mines
  • The Minister of Entrepreneurship, Training and Trade
  • The Minister of Conservation

Developments:

September 1, 2011:  Honourable Bill Blaikie, Minister of Conservation, wrote to the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce on this issue.

Here is his response:  

The Honourable Bill Blaikie

Secondly, in regards to the Adapting to Climate Change Resolution, I am pleased that the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce recognize the critical challenge presented by global climate change. Manitoba Conservation, along with the Departments of Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, Local Government and Water Stewardship, is currently involved in the Prairie Regional Adaption Collaborative (PRAC), which was formally launched in July 2010. This inter-provincial project seeks to enhance climate change adaption decision-making in water resources management, drought, excessive moisture and terrestrial ecosystems. The PRAC is expected to provide outputs that help build a foundation for enhanced adaption planning in Manitoba. In addition to our investments in wind power, biofuels and clean hydro, we have recently implemented our emissions tax on coal use. Revenues from this tax will be redirected to a new biomass transition program.

October 10, 2011: Western Diversification published a release entitled “Federal Investment to Enhance Clean Energy Market Opportunities for Western Canadian Businesses” that touched on this issue. 

The announcement included the following:

“The Clean Energy SME Capacity Building Program is providing 150 companies from across the West with access to resources such as workshops, training and business advisory services geared towards increasing their capacity to attract trade and investment opportunities. Up to 50 of these companies will also be selected to showcase and demonstrate their technologies to potential investors and partners at the Global Clean Energy Congress.”

To read more click here.

October 25, 2011: The Government of Manitoba issued a news release entitled “Manitoba Strengthens ‘GrEEEn’ Trucking Program to Help Improve Industry Efficiency, the Environment and Economy: Ashton” that touched on this issue. 

The announcement included the following:

Honourable Steve Ashton

“The GrEEEn Trucking program is off to a very good start with last year’s $225,000 in funding leveraging about $13 million in upgrades by local transportation companies,” said Ashton.  “We are also pleased the Manitoba Trucking Association and University of Manitoba Transport Institute are continuing to partner with us to help the province’s trucking industry become world leaders not only in reducing their operating costs, but in also reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.” 

To read more click here.

October 25, 2011: A Winnipeg Free Press article entitled “Green leaders converge on city: BioFibre conference attracts global players” touched upon this issue. 

It stated, in part, as follows: 

“SERIOUS players in the biomaterials and bioenergy fields from around the world have converged on Winnipeg for the three-day BioFibre 2011 conference.

The event has attracted participants from Europe, Asia, the United States and across Canada, including Ellen Lee, a technical expert in plastic research with the Ford Motor Company headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The global industry may be in its early stages, but organizers characterize Manitoba’s involvement in the field as nothing short of a bio revolution.

The province has a goal to generate $2 billion in annual revenue in the bioproducts field by 2020.

A focal point of that effort is the Composites Innovation Centre, co-sponsor of the event with the Life Sciences Association of Manitoba.” 

To read more click here.

October 28, 2011: The Government of Manitoba issued a news release entitled “New Heating Unit at Providence University College will Reduce Greenhouse-gas Emissions:  Lemieux” that touched on this issue.                               

The announcement included the following:

“The province invested $84,000 through the Community Led Emissions Reduction (CLER) Initiative’s competitive fund for the installation of a new biomass heating unit for buildings on the Providence University College campus.  The unit replaces natural gas heating and is expected to generate cost savings of up to $50,000 per year.

…. 

CLER is a pilot initiative aimed at supporting projects and providing incentives to encourage locally driven efforts to achieve reductions in Manitoba’s greenhouse-gas emissions and build toward sustainable, long-term changes.” 

To read more click here.

October 31, 2011: TD Bank Group issued a news release entitled “TD Opens First Net-Zero Energy Bank Branch in Canada” that touched on this issue. 

The announcement included the following:

“London, Ont., Selected for First-of-its-Kind Energy Efficiency Project

….

“Changing our branches from energy users to energy generators is one more way that we can lead by example in the transformation to a greener economy,” said Karen Clarke-Whistler, Chief environment Officer, TD Bank Group.  “Net zero energy is good for the environment and it makes good business sense – and that is fundamental to being the better bank.” 

To read more click here.