The Pembina Institute supports establishing a target for the reduction of freight pollution by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to 2015. Istock photo.

Freight pollution accounts for about half of BC’s transportation emissions

By Karen Tam Wu

The Victoria News published this letter to the editor on September 14, 2018 (page A6).

Strong action is needed in the transportation sector to ensure that BC has a chance to achieve its legislated climate targets. We support establishing a sectoral target for reducing carbon pollution from transportation by 30 per cent by 2030 compared to 2015.

Requiring manufacturers to sell more zero emissions vehicles in BC could deliver significant environmental and economic benefits to British Columbians and establish the province as a leader in Canada’s clean transportation transition.

In combination with such a requirement, substantive measures will be required to increase the supply of zero emissions vehicles and build out a network of charging infrastructure. We recognize BC’s leadership on the low carbon fuel standard, and we support continuing to increase the stringency of this policy.

Many of the government’s proposed policies for this sector address passenger vehicles. We emphasize that a strategy must include a comprehensive package of policies to support a cleaner transportation system to move goods as well as people. A more comprehensive and ambitious plan will be needed in order to achieve the necessary emissions reductions from freight, which accounts for roughly half of B.C.’s transportation emissions.

Karen Tam Wu is the managing director of British Columbia at the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading energy think tank. She is also a member of the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council.

Through cross-sectoral consultation and engagement, Karen leads initiatives to advance clean energy solutions and improve energy efficiency in B.C. and across Canada. Previously, Karen worked with First Nations, communities, government, and industry on important conservation initiatives in B.C. A registered professional forester, Karen worked with forest companies worldwide for over a decade developing and implementing sustainable forest management systems.