P.E.I. has met its first target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, two years in advance of when it needed to.
|Greenhouse gas emissions (kilotonnes)|
The target was set jointly among eastern Canadian provinces and the New England states 10 years ago, to return to 1990 levels by 2010.
"It's a definite feather in P.E.I.'s cap," said Environment Minister Richard Brown.
Emissions on P.E.I. peaked in 2004, then fell steadily to below 1990 levels in 2008. Emissions in some provinces continue to rise.
"It's just showing the rest of the country through energy efficiencies, through wind, goals can be achieved," said Brown.
Wind energy was a major factor in the reduction, leading to a big drop in emissions from buildings, but there are areas where the province could be improving. Vehicle emissions have risen 23 per cent since 1990.
Tony Reddin of the Sierra Club says expanding public transit is the key.
"Challenge is to make it viable, economical in the right way," said Reddin.
"But the big thing is to get it designed so that people will use it, and that's a big challenge on P.E.I., no doubt about that."
While emissions on P.E.I. drop, climate change and its effects continue to be felt. Sea levels in Charlottetown have risen twelve centimetres since 1990.
Brown will officially report the province achievement at a meeting of eastern Canadian premiers and New England governors this summer.
The next target set is for 2020, a further 10 per cent reduction. By 2050 the governors and premiers want to see emissions 75 to 85 per cent below 2001 levels.