How BC could reduce transportation GHG emissions to zero by 2040 — and improve social equity at the same time

Could BC reduce transportation-generated greenhouse gas emissions to zero in just 30 years? A new study by the CCPA’s Climate Justice Project says we could, but it will take cash and, even more critically, political will.

The study released today provides a good backdrop to assess Metro Vancouver’s current struggle with Victoria over transit funding. An increase in carbon tax, one of the measures favoured by many mayors, gets thumbs up from the authors.

What makes the report especially important is its emphasis on social equity, reflected in many proposals to ensure that low income families — who contribute much less per capita to greenhouse gas emissions than wealthier ones — do not pay a disproportionate cost in the battle to fight climate change.

Among the most significant suggestions:

  • a greater emphasis on affordable housing organized at greater density around key services to allow lower income families to reduce the length and frequency of their daily trips;
  • a rejection of electric cars as a cure-all;
  • an excellent list ofchanges possible in rural communities, where options are usually much more restricted; and
  • a review of how goods movement, a source of a large share of greenhouse gas emissions, could become greener through more reliance on electrified rail lines.