Climate Change and Air Quality Branch
With a new climate change agreement recently completed in Paris, the world is poised to take action on reducing carbon emissions and shifting to a green economy. Manitoba is prepared to continue to do its part, in partnership with the Government of Canada.
Climate change is the defining global environmental issue of our time. The science around climate change is clear and conclusive (Prairie Climate Centre). The world's climate is changing and human activities are rapidly accelerating this change. The time for action is now.
A Made-in-Manitoba Climate Action Plan is currently under development. It will contain the following elements:
- Carbon pricing that fosters emissions reduction, keeps investment capital here and stimulates new innovation in clean energy, business and jobs;
- Land-use and conservation measures that sequester carbon and foster adaptation to climate change;
- Measures to reduce emissions from commercial buildings through building codes and other measures putting government operations and infrastructure on a path to carbon-neutrality; and
- Measures to encourage the adoption of fuel savings technologies within the transportation sector.
Winnipeg generally enjoys excellent air quality compared to other cities of similar size in Canada. Air quality concerns in Manitoba usually tend to be of a localized nature, where an activity has an impact only on local people and their environment. Some of these impacts may include the presence of odours, noise and other air pollutants. The sources for these and other airborne pollutants include industrial operations, vehicle emissions, man-made substances released to the atmosphere and other specific activities.
Major programs related to provincial air quality management are:
- Ambient Air Quality Monitoring: In cooperation with Environment Canada, ambient air monitoring is being conducted on selected urban areas within the province. Additional monitoring stations are being considered to improve area of coverage and to enhance decision making. A website providing the monitoring data in near real time is available and publicly accessible. Also, the Province is an active partner in the Canada Air Quality Health Index forecasting (AQHI) program. The AQHI is designed to help Manitobans make informed decisions about protecting themselves and their family from the effects of air pollution. The AQHI is currently available for Winnipeg and Brandon and is being considered for Flin Flon and Thompson.
- Setting Air Quality Objectives and Guidelines: Manitoba continues to participate collaboratively in the development of national air quality criteria and will develop provincial air quality criteria/standards.
For more information, please visit Air Quality Management in Manitoba