Canada ranked at bottom end for environmental performance

The latest environmental study shows Canada ranking 15 out of 17 Developed Nations on Environmental performance and received a 'C'

Dear Editor,

The latest environmental study shows Canada ranking 15 out of 17 Developed Nations on Environmental performance and received a ‘C’ grade. The Conference Board’s main goal is to measure quality of life for Canada and its allies. However importance is placed not only on quality of life, but a country must demonstrate that its high quality of life is sustainable. The Conference Board of Canada stated: ”There is growing recognition that growth domestic product (GDP) produced at the expense of the global environment, and at the expense of scarce and finite physical resources, overstates the net contribution of that economic growth to a country’s prosperity.”

Some of the indicators the environmental performance was measured by are:

– air quality

– waste

– water quality and quantity

– biodiversity and conservation

– natural resource management

– climate change and energy efficiency

The board found that Canada produces more garbage than any other nation in the study, more than twice as much than Japan, the leading country in that category.

Water use is another reason Canada ended up near the bottom, Canadians and Canadian Industry uses twice as much as most countries on the list and 9 times more than the top country in this category: Denmark. The only country that has higher water use is the US.

Canada ranks dead last on energy intensity, which is a measure of the ratio between the amount of energy used and the gross domestic product.

Despite Canada repeated promises to reduce per capita greenhouse emissions, Canada’s comes in 3. last on the list, largely blamed on Canada’s oil and gas exports.

Canada receives a ‘C” for water withdrawals per capita, measured by using gross freshwater withdrawals, these amounts are nearly double the 16-country average. And 9 times the amount of water per capita than Denmark for example.

Canada ranked as one of the world’s worst GHG emissions and earned a ‘D’ in this category. In 2010 Canada’s GHG emissions were 20.3 tonnes per capita. The 17 country average is 12.5 tonnes.

Canadians generate 777 kg municipal waste per capita in 2008 (last time it was measured). The amount of waste generated in Canada is well above the OECD average. Canada’s fish resources are still diminishing and unsustainable fishing practices still prevail, this prompted a declining Marine Trophic index.

Ilse Quick,



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