Greenhouse Gases Can be Reduced

A report presents 17 steps (most of them no-brainers) for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy, in a program that will help Canada meet its international commitments.

Canada can meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol, ac-cording to the recently published Canadian Solutions, a 17-step action plan for federal and provincial governments. This 100-page report presents a mix of fiscal, regulatory and voluntary initiatives that can be implemented immediately to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy through the use of currently available technologies.

Each of the 17 measures is described in detail, with reference to the availability of relevant technologies and policies in Canada and other countries. The greenhouse gas reduction benefits of each measure are estimated and portrayed against Canada’s most recent official projection of future greenhouse gas emission trends.

Taken together, the measures are projected to reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2010 by 144 megatonnes (six percent below 1990 levels)-enough to meet Canada’s Kyoto commitment. Each measure includes additional environmental benefits, economic costs and benefits, and an implementation strategy for governments.

Among the 17 measures that make up Canadian Solutions are:

  1. Improved and mandatory fuel economy standards for vehicles.
  2. Phased increases in gasoline and diesel taxes.
  3. Actions to increase the use of alternative transportation modes.
  4. Mandatory 5% renewable en-ergy content in gasoline.
  5. Stricter enforcement of reduced speed limits.
  6. Net metering policies in electricity markets.
  7. A mandatory 10% renewable portfolio standard for electricity re-tailers.
  8. Mandating an R-2000 building code for new residential construction.
  9. Actions to encourage cost-effective energy retrofits of homes.
  10. Actions to encourage cost-effective energy retrofits of buildings.
  11. Support for investments in district energy systems.
  12. Mandating the capture of land-fill methane gas.
  13. Actions to reduce methane emissions from livestock manure man-agement.

* Print copies of the full report are available for $15 from:
The David Suzuki Foundation, 2211 W 4th Ave, Ste 219, Vancouver, BC V6K 4S2;
tel: (604)732-4228; fax: (604)732-0752
The Pembina Institute, Box 7558, Drayton Valley, AB T7A 1S7;
tel: (403)542-6272; fax: (403)542-6464

SPEC Presents 11-Point Plan For Climate Change

The Vancouver-based Society for the Promotion of Environmental Conservation offers its program for improving our air.

  1. Remove federal subsidies to petroleum production. These include deductions on drilling costs and oil wells, and royalty waivers on deep-sea offshore drilling leases.
  2. Increase gas and diesel taxes.
  3. Increase use of urban public transit. Aim to increase public transit in urban areas by 30 percent by 2010.
  4. Encourage commuter cycling. Dedicated urban bicycle routes and designated cycle lanes enable bicycle commuting. Public transit must be more bike friendly with storage capacity at LRT stations as well as space on transit vehicle for bicycles.
  5. Make employer-provided transit benefits tax exempt. Current federal policy allows car commuters to receive untaxed free parking, while employer-provided transit passes are taxed. [Or tax ’em all! – Ed.]
  6. Include trucks and buses in a mandatory Air Care program.
  7. Make zoning flexible. Local government can reduce parking requirements for businesses that have travel programs, or are located in areas of good transit.
  8. Invest in renewable energy sources.
  9. Mandate R-2000 building codes for homes.
  10. Distance-based vehicle insurance and registration. Basing vehicle insurance and registration fees on distance travel provides a financial incentive to reduce driving.
  11. Support car sharing.

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[From WS June/July 1999]

5 Issues/yr — $25 print; $15 digital