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Climate SMART: Be cool - reduce global warming & climate risks

Actions to Reduce (Mitigate) Global Warming


With climate change, the main source of greenhouse gas emissions is the burring of fossil fuels. “End of pipe” pollution control equipment - such as sewage treatment plants or scrubbers on coal fired power plants - can cost money for tax payers and industrial plants. It’s true that the benefits of these environmental protection measures far outweigh the cost, because pollution control measures reduce environmental and economic damage to shellfish beds, fish stock, forest stands, agricultural crops, and human health.

However, if our main pollution control strategy focused on reducing (instead of eliminating) GHG emissions by installing “end of pipe” pollution control equipment, the cost to businesses and our economy would be astronomical. If we instead look at pollution as the result of a very inefficient production process, and we try to re-design production processes to reduce pollution emissions, we would generally save money.

Many actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions have other benefits besides reducing the risk of global climate change. For example, using a fuel efficient car will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but will also save us gas money, and reduce acid rain and smog.


The “old view” looks at reducing green house gas (GHG) emissions much like treating sewage. Treating sewage is an “end of pipe” process. Sewage treatment reduces environmental impacts, protects ecosystems, and may open-up previously polluted rivers and harbours to new economic activity, such as fishing and tourism. As such, sewage treatment is often simplified as a “cost issue,” instead of as an environmental and social benefit.

Similarly, if reducing GHG emissions is viewed as an “end of pipe” problem, economic costs are high. However, since energy (home oil, car gas, diesel) is a costly resource, reducing energy use - and thus greenhouse gas emissions – actually SAVES MONEY! If done intelligently, reducing GHG emissions will not harm our economy and lifestyle. It will actually have many economic, social, and environmental benefits. Measure to reduce GHGs are discussed in Actions to Reduce Canada’s GHG Emissions).