Time and again, scientists have warned about the consequences of inaction, calling for rapid and deep cuts to greenhouse gas emissions, which have far-ranging environmental and health effects. Climate change, driven significantly by emissions, has resulted in a rise in global sea levels, an increase in extreme drought, heat and wildfires in some areas and catastrophic flooding in others, and a reduction in agricultural yields. Ensuring the planet does not exceed 1.5°C of warming above pre-industrial levels is a vital threshold for our planet that cannot be negotiated.
To achieve that target, Canada has set a bold and ambitious climate goal—meeting its Paris Agreement commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030, and ultimately committing to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. But with more than 25 per cent of the country’s carbon emissions coming from household energy use, achieving this net-zero target will require Canadians to reduce their carbon emissions at home.
Through the commuting challenge, electricity challenge, home envelope challenge, heating and cooling challenge and holiday challenge, our Live Net Zero families will explore different strategies and ways to live their lives with the lowest possible carbon emissions impact. They will document their efforts along the way, sharing their journey with fellow Canadians and inspiring others to think about how they can also shrink their carbon footprint. The winning family will not only learn that living sustainably can be an attainable reality, but will also be gifted with an electric vehicle.
As world-renowned ethologist, environmentalist and foremost expert on chimpanzees Dr. Jane Goodall famously suggests, it’s up to humans to determine what impression their actions truly have on planet Earth and the living creatures that inhabit it.
Are you up for the challenge?