Computare on GHG Emissions
December 28, 2004 - One Tonne Challenge Update
Canada's One Tonne Challenge program to reduce emissions has been re-featured in the media lately. A new federal government advertisement featuring Rick Mercer promoting the program has been on television. His video is also on the One Tonne Challenge website.
We took up the challenge in 2003, prior to the official launch of the program, as noted in the July 25 article below. Our results for 2003 are available. We found that our emissions actually increased. We too sent a report to the One Tonne Challenge website. Our story has not been posted. Perhaps negative results are not appreciated. In the interest of transparency, it seems timely to more fully report our actions and to ponder the reasons for our failure. Our experience suggests the One Tonne Challenge will fail, and the failure will go unnoticed from a lack of monitoring.
We are left to wonder if the choice of the jokester, Mr. Mercer, to advertise the One Tonne Challenge reflects clever double speak. Taken literally his pitch could indicate to Kyoto believers that our federal government is making a sincere effort to get Canadians to lower emissions. At the same time Kyoto skeptics reading between the lines may reasonably take his hyper appeal to action as reassurance that nothing is expected of them.
Since the note below on personal greenhouse gas emissions was written, (January 25) we've held a federal election. The winners promised to go ahead with actions to make good on Canada's commitment to Kyoto. I also took on, with my wife, Canada's "One Tonne Challenge" at the beginning of 2003. That public commitment is documented in a letter to the Lethbridge Herald published on March 31. I challenged Canada's Environment Minister Anderson to document the results of his commitment publicly as well. Our emissions for 2001, 2002, and 2003 are documented in a short report as a basis for demonstrating progress in our efforts to constrain our emissions. The methodology is provided in sufficient detail to allow others to implement similar procedures. We might anticipate that the voluntary "One Tonne Challenge" - or more - will become mandatory should Canada really strive to reduce emissions. (DRP 04/07/25)
January 25, 2004 - Implications to Canadians of the Kyoto commitment
Iíve worked out our two member family personal carbon dioxide emissions for 2001 and 2002. We generate and release about 15 tonnes/year each. That is awfully close to our total per capita share of anticipated Kyoto level emissions. It does not include the substantial emissions generated by other sectors such as industry, agriculture and forestry on our behalf. Our modest life style would not be much impacted by the one tonne challenge from the federal government. Reducing our emissions by several tonnes would not be easy.
Canadian's housing and transportation choices are clearly responsible for a large share of total emissions. I will be calculating our 2003 emissions level shortly and will provide the details of our emission records here. Tracking and monitoring of personal emissions is extremely easy. One wonders if our federal government will be tempted to lean directly - and hard - on us to encourage emissions reductions. We've been told Canada will go ahead to meet the Kyoto commitment, even if Russia does not ratify it. Systems are already almost in place to collect the data needed to calculate personal emissions. What next steps might be taken to encourage reductions? Canadians might want to think about the implications of meeting Kyoto protocol emission reductions before the forthcoming election. (DRP 04/01/26)