Low carbon futures in Canada – the role of urban climate change mitigation (22 page pdf, Ralph Torrie, Torrie Smith Associates, Sept. 2015)
Today we review a report by an authorities on carbon emissions and a Canadian, Ralph Torrie. Although Canada has one of the lowest population densities in the world, over 80 % of Canadians are clustered into urban areas which make up 42% of the national GHG emissions. Community emissions from urban areas such as private transportation and residential heating are 40-50 times greater than those directly emitted from corporate operations such as public transit, waste processing and energy. While urban populations have increased over the last 25 years, urban GHG emissions have decreased by 20%. Future municipal reductions centre on energy efficiency in areas such as traffic and road lights and vehicle fleets while community reductions centre on lower emissions from improved building insolation and the use of geothermal energy and more efficient private transportation from improvements such as electric vehicles.
“81% of the Canadian population live in urban centres. …. With 90-95% of the population growth occurring in urban areas, an additional 13 million urban dwellers are projected by 2060”
“Greenhouse gas emissions in Canada totaled 715 Mt CO2e in 2012, or 20.6 t CO2e per capita1, making it among the most greenhouse gas intensive economies in the world…Urban GHG emissions make up 42% of Canada’s total emissions”
“Municipal government emissions represent only 8% of total urban greenhouse gas emissions in Canada…Community greenhouse gas emissions are over ten times larger than emissions from corporate operations, and if only energy-related emissions are included then the community emissions are 40-50 times larger than those from municipal government’s own energy use.”
“Over the past 25 years, per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Canada’s urban areas have
declined by about 20%, while the urban population has increased 30% over the same period.”
“Local governments have direct or indirect control over 40-50% of greenhouse gas emissions …the potential to reduce Canada’s urban GHG emissions by 5-12% by 2050 (13 – 35 Mt CO2e) through the implementation of integrated public policies that promote urban densification, transportation mode shift, utilization of waste heat for district heating and cooling, and renewable energy generation”
“Most of the municipal measures are for energy efficiency improvements, and most of these target the municipalities existing and new buildings, with street and traffic lights, vehicle fleets, and water and waste water treatment facilities also contributing. Although energy efficiency measures account for 80% of building related emission reduction measures, rooftop solar and geothermal heating systems are significant,”
“In British Columbia, communities that have signed the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP) and committed to reducing their GHG emissions can receive up to 100% of the carbon tax they have directly paid for investment in emission reduction measures”.