Environmental Trends 2019

With the start of each new year comes reflection on the year that has just passed us by. Our team at ECO Canada tracks the trends facing Canada’s environmental sector, and also those on the global stage.

See the trends for 2020 and the current decade.

For the third year in a row, we have put together a list of the hot topic issues facing environmental practitioners in Canada and beyond.

Thanks to input from our Research Community, we have heard firsthand which issues will be at the forefront in 2019, and the state of environmental progress that we’ve inherited from changes over the past year.

Below are some of the trending topics that stood out for experienced environmental professionals.

Question: what emerging environmental fields do you see coming to the forefront in 2019?

Answers including the following topics and themes:

  • Water issues including groundwater technology
  • Recognizing the important role of water and the need to protect this valuable resource
  • Climate change – while not new, certainly a prominent topic with a focus on mitigation and adaptation
  • Electric vehicles – manufacturing and rare earth minerals
  • Indigenous land use and environmental/resource management

Which technologies do you think will take off this year? 

Answers included the following:

  • Smart technologies in the environmental sector along with clean tech innovation
  • Continuation of trends for using remote sensing and drone tech for environmental work to improve monitoring and data collection
  • Methods and strategies that will use technology to mitigate climate change impacts
  • Technology that will help with organic diversion or waste management

What policies or legislation will have the biggest impact on the environment? 

A number of the answers related to province-specific policies, but some themes emerged:

  • Removal of cap and trade in Ontario and carbon tax issues that will affect all provinces
  • Lack of climate change action at a federal and provincial level
  • Environmental economic policies
  • Zero flaring policies on a global scale
  • Landfill ban on organics

What do you feel was the most significant environmental accomplishment of 2018?

This answer produced some interesting results and a number of respondents felt that Canada, or at least some regions of Canada, had not made any progress in the past year. In fact, a number of respondents felt that some regions had taken a step back in terms of making positive environmental impacts.

Other answers included:

  • Carbon capture and sequestration with an emphasis on progress in developing countries
  • IPCC report
  • Infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs)

Are there any other trends you will be keeping an eye on for 2019? 

Some common trends emerged among environmental professionals. Over the next year, our respondents plan to track trends in the following areas:

  • Federal proposed Clean Fuel Standard
  • Carbon tax policies and pricing
  • Waste diversion and sustainable food initiatives
  • Building resiliency within communities and on a larger, national or even global scale
  • Indigenous placemaking
  • Low-carbon technologies
  • Research and development

Which trends will you be watching in 2019? Let us know in the comments below.

By Ailsa Popilian & Alice Barreto

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  1. On the Carbon Tax Policies and Pricing front I would like to know how the other provinces and Territories (I am in Yukon) are to be rolled out. Within this i would like to know:

    1. how each jurisdiction is explaining how their Policies and Pricing will result in the reduction in the use of carbon fuels, and
    2. how they are encouraging individuals, organizations and businesses to innovate with funding programs and information

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