Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators

Check out the Statistics Canada Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators report.

It discusses three main indicators:

Air quality indicator tracks Canadians’ exposure to ground-level ozone—a key component of smog and one of the most common and harmful air pollutants to which people are exposed.

The greenhouse gas emissions indicator tracks the annual releases of the six greenhouse gases that are the major contributors to climate change. The indicator comes directly from the greenhouse gas inventory report prepared by Environment Canada for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.

The freshwater quality indicator reports the status of surface water quality at selected monitoring sites across the country. For this first report, the focus of the indicator is on the protection of aquatic life, such as plants, invertebrates and fish.

The report also has some links in the references to some of the data used to build these indicators. Also check out the methodology section to get the low down on how to use these data. Perhaps some data and ideas to play with!

But now that we know that

the three indicators reported here raise concerns for Canada’s environmental sustainability, the health and well-being of Canadians, and our economic performance. The trends for air quality and greenhouse gas emissions are pointing to greater threats to human health and the planet’s climate. The water quality results show that guidelines are being exceeded, at least occasionally, at most of the selected monitoring sites across the country.

What do we do?