Decarbonizing Canadian Transport

Canadian Decarbonisation 250SFU researchers chart a path to decarbonizing Canadian transport in new report

A new report from Simon Fraser University’s School of Resource and Environmental Management challenges several assumptions about decarbonizing Canadian transport.

The report Driving Decarbonization: Pathways and Policies for Canadian Transport focuses on both actions – energy efficiency, fuel switching, urban redesign, and lifestyle changes to reduce transport emissions – and policies – the mechanisms governments use to motivate these actions by individuals, institutions and corporations.

One key message from the 50-page report is that a rapid reduction in the consumption of gasoline and diesel can happen now, in contrast to the conventional narrative that transport decarbonization must await innovations in batteries, hydrogen storage, and “blendable” biofuels. Just as Brazil rapidly reduced gasoline use in the 1980s and Sweden is reducing gasoline and diesel use in buses and trucks today, Canada can quickly increase the consumption of 85% ethanol in dedicated flex-fuel vehicles and 100% biodiesel in modified trucks.

“Vehicles using electricity and maybe hydrogen will ultimately play a key role, as will reduced vehicle use with more transit and cycling.” says co-author Mark Jaccard. “But with just a bit of political leadership, we could be using the existing distribution infrastructure of the petroleum industry to accelerate the adoption of flex-fuel vehicles using ethanol and trucks and other heavy vehicles using biodiesel, thus rapidly reducing our net carbon emissions in transport.”

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About David Brown 9 Articles
David’s boyhood passion for motor cars did not immediately lead to a professional role in the motor industry. A qualified Civil Engineer he specialised in traffic engineering and transport planning. What followed were various positions including being seconded to a government think-tank for the planning of transport firstly in Sydney and then for the whole of NSW. After working with the NRMA and as a consultant he moved to being an independent writer and commentator on the broader areas of transport and the more specific areas of the cars we drive. His half hour motoring program “Overdrive” has been described as an “informed, humorous and irreverent look at motoring and transport from Australia and overseas”. It is heard on 22 stations across Australia. He does weekly interviews with several ABC radio stations and is also heard on commercial radio in Sydney. David has written for metropolitan and regional newspapers and has presented regular segments on metropolitan and regional television stations. David is also a contributor for AnyAuto