What Can Canadian Cities Do to Mitigate Climate Change?

Low carbon futures in Canada – the role of urban climate change mitigation (22 page pdf, Ralph Torrie, Torrie Smith Associates, Sept. 2015)

Today we review a report by an authorities on carbon emissions and a Canadian, Ralph Torrie. Although Canada has one of the lowest population densities in the world, over 80 % of Canadians are clustered into urban areas which make up 42% of the national GHG emissions. Community emissions from urban areas such as private transportation and residential heating are 40-50 times greater than those directly emitted from corporate operations such as public transit, waste processing and energy. While urban populations have increased over the last 25 years, urban GHG emissions have decreased by 20%. Future municipal reductions centre on energy efficiency in areas such as traffic and road lights and vehicle fleets while community reductions centre on lower emissions from improved building insolation and the use of geothermal energy and more efficient private transportation from improvements such as electric vehicles.

urban pop

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What are the impacts of short lived air pollutants on climate change and on health?

Evaluating the climate and air quality impacts of short-lived pollutants  (38 page pdf, A. Stohl, B. Aamaas, M. Amann, L. H. Baker, N. Bellouin, T. K. Berntsen, O. Boucher, R. Cherian, W. Collins, N. Daskalakis, M. Dusinska, S. Eckhardt, J. S. Fuglestvedt, M. Harju, C. Heyes, Ø. Hodnebrog, J. Hao, U. Im, M. Kanakidou, Z. Klimont, K. Kupiainen, K. S. Law, M. T. Lund, R. Maas, C. R. MacIntosh, G. Myhre, S. Myriokefalitakis, D. Olivié, J. Quaas, B. Quennehen, J.-C. Raut, S. T. Rumbold, B. H. Samset, M. Schulz, Ø. Seland, K. P. Shine, R. B. Skeie, S. Wang, K. E. Yttri, and T. Zhu, Atmos. Chem. Phys., Sep. 24, 2015)

Also discussed here: Curbing short-lived pollutants a win-win for climate and air quality (News, The International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Sep. 24, 2015)

Today we review research into the benefits of reducing air pollution in terms of reduced climate warming and on health. The lifetimes of air pollutants such as methane, SO2, NOx and black carbon are measured in months compared CO2 which lasts decades but their radiative impact on climate warming is much greater individually (as opposed to overall), given that their much lower concentration in the atmosphere than CO2. The impact on health of course is much greater with 223,000 deaths from lung cancer each year and shorter lifetimes of 7.5 years globally from air pollution. Short term reductions in air pollution (by 2050) were shown by climate models to reduce warming by 0.22C, while extending lifetimes by up to 11 months (in India).

short lived aq

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The Link between Air Pollution and Hypertension

Long-Term Air Pollution Exposure and Blood Pressure in the Sister Study (8 page pdf, Stephanie H. Chan, Victor C. Van Hee, Silas Bergen, Adam A. Szpiro, Lisa A. DeRoo, Stephanie J. London, Julian D. Marshall, Joel D. Kaufman, and Dale P. Sandler, Environ Health Perspect, Oct. 1, 2015)
Today we review research conducted across a wide area with a large sample made up of sisters of women with breast cancer with the aim to find out the mechanisms between particulate and NO2 pollution and heart disease. The authors found that long term air pollution from PM2.5 and NO2 is closely associated with higher blood pressure and hypertension.

English: Main complications of persistent high...

English: Main complications of persistent high blood pressure. Sources are found in main article: Wikipedia:Hypertension#Complications. To discuss image, please see Template_talk:Häggström diagrams. To edit, please use the svg version, convert to png and update both versions online. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Why Not Apply the User Pay Principle to Road Users? A Case for Road Pricing

Who Pays for Roads? – How the “Users Pay” Myth Gets in the Way of Solving America’s Transportation Problems (45 page pdf, Tony Dutzik and Gideon Weissman, Phineas Baxandall, Frontier Group U.S. PIRG Education Fund, May 5, 2015)

Also discussed here: Report: 21st Century Transportation (Press Release, Frontier Group U.S. PIRG Education Fund, May 5, 2015)

Today we review an analysis of road costs in the USA (also applies to Canada) which shows increasingly that the tax on fuel for vehicles pays less and less of the overall costs for roads which include construction and maintenance, snow clearance, the health costs of air pollution from vehicle emissions, etc that amount to $10 to $40 B/ year attributable to driving. This is more than the costs of transit, passenger rail travel, cycling and walking combined. The balance of the costs not funded from gas taxes is borne by property taxes and general tax revenue which, in cities such as Ottawa, Canada’s capital, is more than the cost of police services or public transit. This is a clear call for road pricing which would relieve the tax burden of those who do not use roads and go beyond flat and partially subsidized road tolls.

user pay for roads

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Does it Matter How You Measure Atmospheric Particulate Matter?

An Overview of Particulate Matter Measurement Instruments (Simone Simões Amaral , João Andrade de Carvalho Jr., Maria Angélica Martins Costa and Cleverson Pinheiro, Atmosphere, Sep. 9, 2015)

Today we review a comparison of instruments used to measure particulate matter, one of the most important pollutants produced by human activities, which produces serious environmental and health problems. Two properties are measured: particle size and concentration. The authors conclude that for health-related studies, the Diffusion Charger is best and the ones best suited to measuring ultra fine particles are the Electrical Low Pressure Impactor and the Scanning Mobility Particle Sizer.

English: Preindustrial and contemporary PM2.5 ...

English: Preindustrial and contemporary PM2.5 emissions. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Six Principles to Implement Carbon Pricing Quickly, Fairly and Cost-Effectively

The FASTER Principles for Successful Carbon Pricing: An approach based on initial experience (49 page pdf, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank Group (WBG), Sep. 20, 2015)
Also discussed here: New Principles to Move on a Low Carbon Path, amid Growing Momentum for Carbon Pricing (Press Release, World Bank, Sep. 20, 2015)

Today we review proposals from the World Bank and OECD to implement carbon pricing around the world based on experiences from 40 nations and 23 cities. Wider adoption by other countries has the potential to both reduce carbon emissions and to raise significant revenue that could accelerate emission reductions and climate adaptation: up to $400 B by 2030 and $2.2 trillion by 2050.


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Priorities Needed to Achieve a Low Carbon World

World Energy Trilemma – Priority actions on climate change and how to balance the trilemma (57 page pdf, World Energy Council, 2015)

Also discussed here: Paris, give us carbon pricing, but give us market mechanisms too! (Joan MacNaughton, World Energy Trilemma, World Energy Council, Sep. 23, 2015)
Today we review a report and recommendations from the World Energy Council, aimed at the COP21 climate conference to take place in Paris in December 2015. Among the important factors that need to be considered in setting a global goal to remain below 2 C warming target is the need to recognize different energy dependencies in various countries and sub-regions, the need to have carbon pricing in place, in order to allow the successful implementation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) without which achievement of the goal is impossible and the major role for the private sector, especially in controlling emissions from the supply chain. For example, the differences between the carbon pricing strategies of fossil fuel provinces in Canada (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Newfoundland) and low carbon energy producing provinces (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec) and the mix of carbon tax and cap and trade approaches show how local situations lead to different low carbon solutions.

world energy council

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