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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for August 22nd, 2007

Transportation Is A Big Honking Deal

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Sightline Institute

Taken from “The Daily Score” a weblog on “North West news that matters”

In the Northwest, it’s impossible to address climate change without doing something about transportation. Take a look at this chart showing CO-2 emissions from fossil fuels in Washington.

wash-co2-emitsfossilfuel.gif

And the report goes on to note that fossil fuels account for 80% of the state’s ghg.

The western states and provinces are getting more serious about their commitment to GHG reductioin which means that they will have to do something dramatic about transportation. BC is in an odd position since the Premier has made all kinds of public claims about the need to reduce ghg emissions but neglected to tell his cabinet about it before the throne speech. So there is no actual program in place yet since by then the budget had been set by the time he saw the light.

Washington state has quite significant industrial emissions, which includes oil refineries. BC will be a bit different, as most of our electrical power is hydro, and what industry we have is mostly extractive. Oil and gas will play a much bigger role in the provincial inventory I think.

In Greater Vancouver there has been significant loss of industry, and at the same time growth of population as well as increased car use and travel as commute distances have lengthened. So any comparison for emission reduction purposes with earlier years shows what a huge reduction must be made to get back to where we were a few years ago, let alone reduce below that.

And, of course, the province is finally conceding that the Gateway program is not consistent with a strategy to reduce ghg emissions. Although they show no signs at all of abandoning the program or significantly changing their (lack of) commitment to transit.

There is also the link to the Western Climate Initiative, where the precise language is revealing

In April 2007, the Premier of British Columbia joined the Initiative.

Not the province, or the provincial government – just the premier. Mind you that also applies to the states – only the Governors are meeting.

Forgive me for being cynical but I suspect the only thing anyone is committed to is having meetings and making statements. I see no evidence yet of anyone actually doing anything.

Written by Stephen Rees

August 22, 2007 at 9:29 pm