Mount Allison University joins the Municipal Net-Zero Action Research Partnership
Dr. Corrine Cash, assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environment, will contribute her research initiatives to the Municipal Net-Zero Action Research Partnership (N-ZAP). The collaboration includes three project leads: University of Waterloo, ICLEI Canada, and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) as well as 11 external academic partners including Mount Allison, eight national organizations, and over 13 municipal partners.
“It’s a privilege that Mount Allison is included in this project,” says Cash. “There are significant partnerships here that are doing great work and it’s a way that we can make a practical contribution through research in order to help with a very serious issue happening right now in the world.”
N-ZAP is the first project of its kind co-produced by Dr. Amelia Clarke, professor in the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development at University of Waterloo along with ICLEI Canada and FCM. The project will take place over five years with five working groups supporting Canadian municipalities to monitor, measure, and achieve their greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation goals.
The N-Zap project began July 1, 2022, and has received over $4 million from Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC).
“The aim is to ensure that the emission reduction projects, the policies, and the programs that occur at the municipal level are aligned with Canada's national reduction commitments,” says Cash. “We are quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions at municipal levels and that enables the application to be able to identify various methods of mitigation opportunities.”
Cash is co-chair of Working Group 5 with a representative from FCM and several students from different universities will be contributing to the group’s objective. Mount Allison will receive support from the project funding to give students the opportunity to contribute to Working Group 5 through research assistant positions.
The group’s objective is to mobilize knowledge resources and tools to diverse audiences using accessible and inclusive formats and to disseminate knowledge to 250 pilot cities across Canada. Cash is also part of Working Group 4, which will ensure collaborative governance, diverse and inclusive action, measuring, and monitoring.
“The impacts of climate change are being felt. We must decrease emissions, and this project is a way we can track what is happening at a municipal level,” says Cash.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body assessing the science related to climate change. IPCC studies say that in order to limit climate change to a tolerable level, which is a global temperature of 1.5 degrees Celsius, global emissions must be reduced to 43 per cent by 2030, and as a planet be at net zero by 2050.
To achieve net zero by 2050 means either the economy emits no greenhouse gases or offsets its emissions through planting trees or by way of technology by capturing carbon before it is released into the atmosphere. One hundred and twenty countries committed to be net zero by 2050 and several Canadian cities have already promised to achieve this goal.
The Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act became law June 29, 2021. The act enshrines in legislation Canada’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, ensuring transparency and accountability as the government works towards delivering on its targets. The N-ZAP project will help with the national reporting processes occurring at the federal level to help achieve net zero.
Read more about the N-ZAP Project, including research activities, project partners and research dissemination.