Now is the time to be bolder

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Accelerating the development of transportation electrification will ultimately save thousands of Canadian lives and billions of dollars while creating hundreds of thousands of high-quality, well-paying, sustainable jobs across the country, says Daniel Breton of ‘EMC.

On September 20, Canadians will be invited to choose who they want as Members of Parliament. Among other issues, climate change, air pollution and a green economic recovery through electric mobility must be at the heart of the countryside.

This summer, the focus has been on the climate. From forest fires and droughts to poor air quality, we, as a global community, are all affected. The clues around us have recently been summed up in the Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, published in August, and the conclusions could not be clearer on the state of the environment.

As climate science becomes clearer, “it is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, oceans and land,” and that the planet will continue to warm for at least 30 years, no matter what we do. . The report also found that changes are happening faster than they were centuries or millennia ago. We are currently seeing the highest concentrations of CO2 over the past two million years.

There are three fundamental reasons why Canada should support the acceleration of the transportation electrification sector: air pollution and its impact on health, climate change and the economy.

We are indeed in a climate crisis and we must act now.

Air pollution and health

According to 2021 report published by Health Canada entitled “Health Impacts of Air Pollution in Canada: Estimates of Morbidity and Premature Mortality Outcomes”, Who believes that:

  • 15,300 deaths per year can be attributed to air pollution in Canada, eight times the number of deaths from traffic accidents.
  • $ 120 billion per year is the total annual economic cost of the health outcomes associated with air pollution

According to a 2020 Environment Canada report, a significant part of this atmospheric pollution comes from transport. In 2019, the sector represented:

  • 37 percent of Canada’s carbon monoxide (CO) emissions,
  • 37 percent of Canada’s nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions
  • 30 percent of Canada’s black carbon emissions

Passenger cars and light trucks are a major source of pollutants, especially in urban centers. In 2019, passenger cars, light trucks and motorcycles accounted for 26% of Canada’s CO emissions, 8% of NOx and 7% of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions.

Climate change

Since April 2021, Canada has set a new, more ambitious GHG emission reduction target for 2030. The government aims to reduce emissions by 40 to 45% compared to the levels recorded in 2005. According to an Environment report Canada of 2021 report, in the 14 years between 2005 and 2019, Canada’s GHG emissions declined by just one percent.

As a result, Canada must reduce its GHG emissions by another 39% to 44% over the remaining nine years to 2030. Between 2005 and 2019, GHG emissions from light passenger vehicles increased by 8%. .

According to a 2019 report from the International Energy Agency, Canada’s light passenger vehicle fleet is number one in the world for GHG emissions per kilometer driven. They are also the biggest and second heaviest in the world.

Twenty-five percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation. But when you take into account the upstream emissions to produce the fuel needed to propel different types of vehicles, at least 24% must be added to the exhaust GHG emissions of the transport sector. This means that total GHG emissions from transportation (tailpipe emissions + upstream emissions) represent at least 31 percent of Canada’s total GHG emissions, making transportation the main source of GHG emissions in Canada. .

The economy

According to 2019 report Clean Energy Canada, there will be approximately 560,000 clean energy jobs by 2030, nearly 50% of which will be in clean transportation.

According to a 2020 report by Electric Mobility Canada, if Canada adopts a strong electric mobility strategy inspired by those of California, British Columbia or Quebec, we can anticipate at least $ 200 billion in sales by 2030 in the EV sector. These jobs will be created in mining, research and development, assembly, sales, marketing, engineering, chemicals, construction, electrical, administration, environment, power generation and distribution and will be located from British Columbia to Atlantic Canada.

Knowing all this, it is clear to us at EMC that not only is Canada at a crossroads when it comes to tackling climate change and air pollution, but Canada has a historic opportunity to create Canadian jobs. high-paying and high-quality sustainable in electric mobility British Columbia. in Atlantic Canada.

The role of electric mobility

In order to meet these climate and electric vehicle adoption goals, Canada must do more than just follow U.S. federal regulations, which the Trudeau government recently said it intends to do in this regard. which concerns light electric vehicles.

Although we are well aware that the two markets are integrated, we can draw inspiration from what is currently happening in California or in British Columbia and Quebec, our two leading provinces in terms of adoption of EVs. Both provinces have implemented the ZEV mandates. It is thanks to these mandates, as well as to other programs such as ZEV discounts and infrastructure deployment, that these two provinces achieved 9.4% of ZEV sales in Quebec and 10.6% in British Columbia in the second quarter of 2021, compared to just 3% in Ontario. At the municipal level, Toronto’s listing volume of 3.7 percent lags behind Montreal at 10.4 percent and Vancouver at 12.1 percent.

Canada will only be able to meet its 100% sales target for ZEV light vehicles in 2035 through a federal mandate from ZEV, as well as GHG regulations, education programs, deployment. infrastructure, electric vehicle discounts and ZEV supply chain investments.

For environmental, health and economic reasons, Canada must be bolder.

We need to lead the way instead of just following the US federal government – especially since, according to the August 2021 EPA report, the proposed U.S. tailpipe emissions regulations will only account for eight percent of ZEV sales by 2026 and that the U.S. federal target of 50 percent of ZEV sales by 2030 is voluntary and non-regulatory.

The electrification of transport is not the only solution to these challenges related to climate change, air pollution, health and economic recovery, but in combination with public transport, active transport, carpooling, carsharing and telecommuting is absolutely an important piece of the puzzle.

And this federal election campaign is certainly the perfect time to discuss these important issues.

Daniel Breton CEM

Daniel Breton is President and CEO of Electric Mobility Canada (CEM), a national membership-based non-profit organization dedicated exclusively to the advancement of electric mobility.


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