The Big World Picture
Transport is responsible for 22% of energy-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide, and its emissions are increasing at a faster rate than any other sectors.
Given this reality, implementing low-carbon transport options can create multiple economic, ecological and social benefits. In addition to reducing emissions low carbon transportation include improved air quality, safer streets, and poverty alleviation.
Greenhouse gas emissions by sector and mode of transport
The IPCC report on transportation is clear: reducing global transport greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be challenging since the continuing growth in passenger and freight activity could outweigh all mitigation measures unless transport emissions can be strongly decoupled from GDP growth.
This reality is what motivates climate action groups like CAPR to look closely at where Canada and particularly Powell River is regarding transportation and our carbon footprint. We can make a difference at a local level—and let’s be honest the courage to take bold measures to save our planet is contagious!
Canadian Facts about Transportation
Greenhouse gas emissions by economic sector, Canada, 1990 to 2016
Depending on where you look, and how you look, transportation emissions range from about 14% to 35% GLOBALLY in any particular jurisdiction. Usually these numbers reflect all forms of transportation, passenger, commercial, aviation and marine. Transportation is a highly significant contributor to global GHG (Green House Gas) emissions.
In Canada, and considering the scale of our landscape, and nature of our climate, transportation in general is responsible for about 24% of total GHG emissions, the second largest individual sector. Within that, passenger and freight travel account for 96% of the estimated 170 Megatonnes of CO2 equivalent per year attributed to transportation, with passenger travel making up about 55% of that.
GHG emissions from transportation have increased by close to 40% over the last three decades, primarily due to the increase in the number of vehicles on the road, but also due to type. Emissions from light trucks, vans and SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) have doubled and have been responsible for most of the increase in passenger travel emissions. Freight truck emissions have tripled in the same period.
A pronounced change in vehicle choice, from passenger cars to trucks, vans and SUVs, has had a marked effect on the emissions of the passenger fleet in Canada.
SOURCE: ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE CANADA (2017) National Inventory Report
The Powell River Scene
The City of Powell River lies along the shores of the Georgia Strait at the heart of the Malaspina Peninsula. A deep inlet separates the area from the rest of the British Columbia mainland, resulting in a rare unspoiled natural beauty. First inhabited by Salish Peoples, Powell River was named after Israel Wood Powell, who was at that time superintendent of Indian Affairs for BC.
Because of its unique geographical location Powell River is considered a remote community despite the facts of its relative proximity Vancouver and Vancouver Island. Because of this Powell River relies on a Ferry system. BC Ferries offers sailings directly to Powell River from the Little River ferry terminal in Comox on Vancouver Island, and from Earl’s Cove to Saltery Bay (south of Powell River city limits) on the Lower Sunshine Coast.
Electric Ferries? “BC Ferries has eight routes of 30 minutes of less where an electric ferry could operate (see list below), or nine when battery technology improves to 35 minutes for the Salt Spring to Swartz Bay route. BC ferries has already installed a hybrid battery system on its newly retrofitted MV Tachek, which serves the Quadra to Cortes Island route, and many of BC Ferries’ vessels use diesel powered electric drive, maybe making it possible that some ferries could be retrofitted. There are also several privately operated inland ferries overseen by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure that have routes of 35′ or less.”
Powell River also has an active EV network of dedicated electric car owners! If you want to know the facts about fuel consumption and CO2 go here. Also, check out The Definitive Guide to Electric Cars in Canada. Visit Charge Hub for interesting information about Electric Vehicles. Don’t forget Plug In BC and Plugshare for information on charging stations etc.
The City of Powell River has a Carbon Neutral Plan that demonstrating local leadership and committing the City to take action and develop strategies to make progress towards carbon neutrality.
We also have a Climate Action Reserve Fund that provides a source of funds for climate mitigation and adaptation strategies that target energy and GHG reductions associated with facilities or transportation of either local government owned assets or Community public lands and services. This reserve is funded by Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) Public Report for 2016 . CARIP sets the stage for GHG emissions reductions by increasing transportation system efficiency, emphasizing the movement of people and goods, and “giving priority to more efficient modes, e.g. walking, cycling, ridesharing, and public transit, can contribute to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and more livable communities. “
Bicycles are very popular in Powell River. Visit the Powell River Cycling Association for all kinds of interesting information and tips about cycling in Powell River
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