One-Tonne Challenge

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One Tonne Challenge Logo

The One-Tonne Challenge was a challenge presented by the Government of Canada in March 2004 for Canadians to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by one tonne each year. The figure represents 20% of total greenhouse gas output by Canadians and aimed to help the country reach its Kyoto Protocol emission reduction targets. The Liberal Government under Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin approved over $45 million to fund the program from 2003 to 2006.[1]

To promote this program, the government had placed television and print ads featuring comedian Rick Mercer. In one commercial, he describes Canadians as wanting to take the challenge. "C’mon... we’re Canadian... we’re up for a challenge!"

A magnet with a temperature indictator given to high school students as promotional giveaways.

The government urges Canadians to do such things as:

  • Take public transit more often.
  • Idle vehicles less.
  • Use programmable thermostats.
  • Seal windows with caulking and weather-stripping.
  • Compost organic kitchen waste.
  • Support green energy.
  • Water and energy conservation.
  • Purchase electronics that are labelled with Energy Star logo.
  • Recycling.

The program has received a lukewarm reception from the public, having been criticized as ineffective and wasteful.

This program was started by Liberal Party of Canada. However, as of the election of Stephen Harper's Conservative Government, the One Tonne Challenge had been scrapped. An alternative online version produced by the Pembina Institute can be found at One Tonne Challenge

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