Go Green Torbay - Taking Climate Action

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

The Town of Torbay is committed in its efforts to going green and becoming climate resilient, which means adapting to climate change impacts (climate change adaptation), as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation). Learn with us as we learn about climate change, and let us know what you think as we take the next steps!

We want you to be a part of our climate change action plan by learning the facts, reviewing the plan, and sharing your feedback.


The Town of Torbay is committed in its efforts to going green and becoming climate resilient, which means adapting to climate change impacts (climate change adaptation), as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions (climate change mitigation). Learn with us as we learn about climate change, and let us know what you think as we take the next steps!

We want you to be a part of our climate change action plan by learning the facts, reviewing the plan, and sharing your feedback.


  • Fast Facts about Climate Change

    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
    1. What causes climate change?
      Climate change is caused by greenhouse gases that trap heat in the atmosphere. Scientist know that this is the cause of climate change and that almost all of these greenhouse gases (GHGs) are coming from human activity. Find out more.

    2. How high is the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere?
      The current concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere is approximately 417 parts per million; the highest is has been in millions of years. The last time CO2 emissions were this high, global temperatures and sea level were significantly higher than what we are used to. Find out more.

    3. How will climate change affect the Northeast Avalon of Newfoundland?
      It is projected that the climate on the Northeast Avalon will become wetter, warmer, and stormier. By 2100, it is projected that on the Northeast Avalon, the intensity of precipitation events is expected to increase 13-16% and the daily mean temperature will increase between 3.5 and 5.4 degrees Celsius, depending on the time of year. These two factors, amoung others, mean more frequent and intense storm events. Find out more.

    4. What season and where on the planet are the greatest temperature changes projected to occur?
      It is projected that the greatest temperature changes will occur in the north during the winter season. The projected temperature increases for the Northeast Avalon are +3.5°C in the summer, +5.4°C in the winter. In Northern Labrador, the projections are +4.8°C in the summer, +10.8°C in the winter. Find our more.

    5. By what year does the IPCC - Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations urge that we must reach net-zero emissions (remove as much GHGs as we emit) to prevent severe climate change and associated impacts on human life and the planet's ecosystems?
      We must reach net-zero emissions by 2050. This is based on a special report released by the IPCC in 2018, which aims to keep global warming to under 1.5°C. This refers to a global average; temperatures will (and have already) increased more or less than this depending on the location on Earth. Find out more.

    6. What immediate greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target has Newfoundland and Labrador officially adopted?
      Newfoundland and Labrador has committed to a 30% GHG reduction by 2030. Additionally, under the Paris Agreement, Canada has committed to the net-zero by 2050 target. The Town of Torbay has aligned its corporate GHG emissions reduction targets with these provincial, national and international targets. For its corporate GHG emissions profile, the Town aims to achieve a 30-45% reduction by 2030, and reach net-zero by 2050. Find out more about provincial targets.

    7. What is the Town of Torbay's biggest source of GHG emissions?
      In 2018 and 2019, the associated landfill emissions from Town of Torbay's municipal solid waste accounted for around 60% of the emissions included in the Town of Torbay's corporate GHG inventory. Water and wastewater systems is next at 28%, followed by the town vehicle fleet at 10%.

    8. If Torbay residents composted all their organic waste the GHG emissions avoided would be the sames as how many one-way trips from Torbay to Port-Aux-Basques (in a gas vehicle with 7L/100km efficiency)?
      3077 trips! Organic waste (like banana peels, eggshells, coffee grounds, etc.) releases methane (a powerful greenhouse gas) when it breaks down anaerobically (without oxygen) in a landfill. Composting organic waste instead allows it to breakdown aerobically (in the presence of oxygen) which does not produce methane, plus it creates a nutrient rich fertilizer that can be used in local gardens and farms – win-win for the climate! Organic waste made up around 1/3 of total municipal solid waste in 2019. Wet organic waste is also one of the heaviest components of our garbage – since the Town pays for garbage disposal by the tonne, composting saves money! Find out more about composting.

    9. What does climate change mitigation mean?
      Climate change mitigation means reducing GHG emissions to prevent climate change from accelerating. The Town of Torbay has begun action on climate change mitigation by completing a corporate GHG inventory to identify and measure the sources of emissions, and by drafting a climate action plan with prioritized projects that will reduce or prevent emissions. Several projects are already underway! Find out more about climate change mitigation.

    10. What does climate change adaptation mean?
      Climate change adaptation means preparing for the impacts of climate change, like extreme weather events. The Town of Torbay has been working on a community climate vulnerability assessment to identify which climate change risks are likely to impact the Town, it’s infrastructure, and its residents. Sea level rise, coastal erosion, flooding, and wildfire are some of the hazards being investigated to ensure that action is taken to keep everyone safe. Find out more about climate change adaptation.

    11. What is the approximate cost of solar electricity?
      When you calculate the cost of solar panels (as of 2020) and divide by the energy generated by the panels over their lifespan, the cost of the solar electricity is around $0.12/kWh. Purchasing solar panels is like purchasing energy for 25-30+ years at current electricity rates. Electricity rates are bound to increase over that timeframe, therefore, you are locking in long-term savings! Find out more.

    12. Is the potential per year of solar energy worse, the same, or better in Newfoundland and Labrador when compared to Germany or Japan (countries with large solar industries)?
      Better! Believe it or not, solar panels work better in cold temperatures. Heat causes solar panels to work a little less efficiently, producing less energy. In this way, Newfoundland and Labrador’s mild weather is actually a benefit! Newfoundland and Labrador also has one of the greatest wind energy potentials in the whole world! But we all knew that from experience. Find out more about solar energy potential across the globe.

    13. Why should you consider an electric vehicle?
      Electric vehicles cost 75% less to operate than fossil fuel cars (due to avoided fuel costs and reduced maintenance), have ranges of 200+km on a single charge, and can be charged using a regular wall socket. Electric vehicles (EVs) are the future, and Newfoundland and Labrador is in a great position to make the switch. By charging with our green hydroelectricity (or your own solar power!), operating an EV here results in almost zero emissions. NL Hydro is currently installing a fast charging network across the TransCanada Highway. Find out more.