Force of Nature: P.E.I. aiming to be carbon neutral by 2040

Posted on March 01, 2023 | By Paul MacNeill | 0 Comments

Post tropical storm Fiona clobbered P.E.I.’s north shore, which in places lost 10 metres over night. The Island’s Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Action, Steven Myers, has set an aggressive target of becoming Canada’s first carbon neutral province by 2040. (Amy Parsons Photography)

Steven Myers aims to make P.E.I. a leader in climate change adaptation

As Prince Edward Island awoke September 24, 2022, the devastation delivered by post-tropical storm Fiona was both breathtaking and gut wrenching.

Hundreds of homes were damaged, cottages were devoured by the sea and wharves destroyed. Eleven hundred and thirty-three power poles snapped in wind gusts of more than 150km/h over an excruciatingly long 12-plus hours. Thirty-five thousand trees toppled onto power lines. Complete sections of forest fell, each tree exposing massive root systems violently ripped from the ground like twigs.

The Gentle Island was more akin to a battleground, its majestic north shore dunes not just damaged, but annihilated, with a staggering 10-plus meters of shoreline lost in some areas.

All of P.E.I. went dark (a first) as the storm knocked the whole of Maritime Electric’s grid offline. Outages that are normally a short-term nuisance, for many extended into a grueling two-plus weeks of suffering in the cold and dark, including Brighton, one of Charlottetown’s poshest neighbourhoods.

As normal slowly returned, the scars of Fiona became a daily reminder how vulnerable Canada’s smallest province is to climate change and the ever increasing severity of storms. For many, Fiona is an inflection point for the urgency to find solutions that minimize P.E.I.’s carbon footprint and protect her shoreline, fields, forests and communities from a repeat night of destruction.



In the storm’s aftermath, Steven Myers, 50, saw opportunity.

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