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Worrying trends in coastal ecosystems and fisheries were counterbalanced by promising new air quality regulations and a decline in mercury air emissions. The reintroduction of grey wolves to Yellowstone National Park is a symbol of hope and a success story in ecosystem restoration.

Key Facts

  • Enforcement action by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cut pollution by 455 million kg in 2004. This represents a 40 per cent improvement over the reduction in 2000 of 325 million kg.
  • According to a nationwide study in 95 large urban communities, changes in ground-level ozone were significantly associated with an increase in deaths in many cities in the United States. The increase in deaths occurred even at ozone levels below the EPA clean air standards.
  • The United States and other countries signed the Methane to Markets partnership - an initiative that aims to reduce global methane emissions, to promote energy security, improve the environment, and reduce greenhouse gases. The partnership has the potential to reduce net methane emissions by up to 50 million tonnes of carbon equivalent annually by 2015.
  • Canada 's new environment minister stressed the need for a business-oriented approach to environment and sustainable development and urged Canadians to build business interests that tie environmental issues to economic development.
  • The results of a 10-year study on warming in the Arctic, from an intergovernmental forum of eight governments including Canada and the United States, reveal that the Arctic is warming much more rapidly than previously known, at nearly twice the rate as the rest of the globe.

Sources: EPA 2004f, Bell and others 2004, EPA 2004g, Dion 2004, ACIA 2004


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