Climate change is perhaps the greatest challenge that the global community is facing now. A call towards mitigating the effects of greenhouse gas emissions has been raised by international organisations including the United Nations.
In July 2021, Canada formally committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
What are greenhouse gases?
Any gas that has the property to emit infrared radiation or net heat energy from Earth’s surface and reradiate it back to Earth’s surface is called greenhouse gases.
Carbon Dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, water vapour and fluorinated gases are the main greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases are emitted because of burning fossil fuels, solid waste, and trees as well as through transport of coal and natural gas, decay of organic waste at landfills, and through various industrial activities.
When greenhouse gases absorb and retain infrared radiations, atmospheric heat increases, which ultimately worsens global warming.
Why must we reduce greenhouse gas emission?
Global warming is a worldwide concern that has resulted in drastic changes in the climatic conditions around the world. Global atmospheric carbon dioxide is extremely high and the last time atmospheric carbon dioxide was this high was 3 million years ago.
Rise in global warming has changed rain patterns globally and is considered one of the main reasons for continuous occurrences of wildfires in various parts of the world.
In Canada, we recently had raging wildfires occurring in different cities, particularly in the province of British Columbia.
If we are unable to control the rising greenhouse gas emissions, scientists believe that we will witness the worst effects of global warming including extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, extinction of plant and animal species, major change in climate patterns, and resultant social upheavals.
Why is it important for countries to fix an ambitious reduction target?
In 2015, 196 countries met and negotiated the Paris Agreement in which they agreed to limit the increase in global average temperature in this century to well below 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial levels.
The agreement further aims at limiting the increase to 1.5 degree Celsius.
Under the agreement, individual signatory countries must submit their national plans on targets to limit GHG emissions and roadmaps to achieve it.
However, despite the Paris agreement, global temperature has been consistently increasing and the past four years have been the hottest on record.
Countries must make radical progress in limiting GHG emissions and for that they need to fix ambitious targets.
More needs to be done if we must curb global warming to provide a sustainable future for generations to come.
Canada’s commitment to emission reduction
In Canada’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) submission to the United Nations, it has outlined a series of regulations, investments, and measures in pursuit of its ambitious targets.
The submission has taken suggestions from provincial, territorial, and Indigenous partners.
You can find the detailed plan of action in the publication titled “Canada’s Climate Actions for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy”. Canada joined with about 120 nations around the world in committing to net-zero emissions by 2050.
The way in which the country tackled the Covid-19 pandemic showed us that Canada can address a global crisis with a determined response. A similar kind of response is needed to address the issue of GHG emissions and global warming.
The government is working alongside the private sector and individual Canadians in achieving its enhanced 2030 GHG emissions reduction target.
Carbon pollution pricing in Canada
The Government of Canada has introduced carbon pollution pricing system across the country. It is considered as one of the best methods to reduce GHG emissions, while promoting innovation.
Carbon pricing is the process of recognising the cost of pollution and accounting for those costs in our daily decisions and activities.
Carbon pricing has been followed by Canada since 2019 and the policy is a flexible one. Provinces can either design carbon pricing system considering their local needs or can follow the federal pricing system.
The federal government has set a benchmark that all provincial systems must meet to ensure they are comparable and efficient.
The federal carbon pricing system has two parts. One is the fuel charge, which is about a regulatory charge on gasoline and natural gas.
The second one is a performance-based system for the industries, known as the Output-based Pricing System.
The proceeds from carbon pricing can be used by provinces as they see fit, including supporting families to cut their GHG emissions in a practical and affordable way.
It is often said that carbon pollution pricing is often harsh on the low-income group. It is because they tend to use a higher percentage of their income on high-emission activities like heating homes and transportation.
Proceeds from carbon pricing can be used to support them in reducing their GHG emissions.
How individuals can contribute to reducing GHG emissions
The main responsibility for reducing GHG emissions lies with governments and large industrial corporations.
Just 100 companies are responsible for about 71% of global GHG emissions.
However, it does not mean that individuals have no role in reducing GHG emissions. There are a lot of things that we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and contribute to the prevention of global warming.
Switch to renewable energy – You need to make use of renewable energy sources like solar, wind and hydroelectric energy for your daily needs.
They do not emit GHG and are much cleaner than conventional sources of energy. Installing solar panels for your daily energy needs will save you a lot on energy bills as well.
Turn off the lights – Though it is quite an obvious method to save energy, we often forget to follow the basic thing of turning off the lights when they are not needed.
Keeping lights on in empty rooms and offices is a practice that results in a huge drain of energy. Make it a habit to turn off lights and it will go a long way in limiting GHG emissions.
Use public transport – One of the biggest culprits in GHG emissions is the use of petrol and diesel vehicles for private transport. If you make use of public transport for getting around to places, it can significantly limit GHG emissions.
Try to make use of public transport, reduce your carbon footprint, and make your contribution towards reducing global warming.
Cycle to work – Similar to the use of public transport for your travel, cycling to your workplace is a sure method to reduce GHG emissions.
Moreover, it is a fantastic way to keep yourself fit and healthy. Walking to your office is a similar option to reduce your carbon footprint and improve your fitness.
Say no to single use plastic – Single use plastic is a known source of GHG emissions around the globe. When we use them and later throw it away, often they end up being burnt, causing GHG emissions.
Besides, it takes a lot of energy to produce and recycle single use plastic. Say no to its use and you can considerably reduce your carbon footprint.
Raise awareness – You can do a lot against GHG emissions by raising awareness about it in your locality.
Find local groups that participate in climate change activism, subscribe to their email list, seek, and give out information about GHG emissions and global warming, influence local government policies on limiting GHG emissions and push the conversation forward.
Recycle and reuse – Companies and individuals use a lot of products in their daily lives. By recycling and reusing products you can reduce your carbon footprint and limit GHG emissions.
IT equipment, electronic products, batteries, scrap car parts, plastic, steel cans, glass containers, paper towels, trash bags etc. can be recycled and reused.
The world is learning to make use of its resources to limit GHG emissions. Canada has been in the forefront in seizing opportunities to provide a cleaner, low-carbon and green future for the generations to come.
The government of Canada, together with the people of the country, is marching ahead in curbing GHG emissions for a sustainable future.
About Got Scrap Car
Got Scrap Car is a scrap car removal company, largely based in Vancouver that helps individuals in limiting GHG emissions by doing scrap car removal in Vancouver and other major cities in BC. We tow away scrap cars for free to scrap yards and will remove, recycle, and reuse car parts, thereby doing our bit in serving the country in reducing its GHG emissions.