Emissions progress in Waterloo Region – transportation reduction still needed

By Heather Bigelow

Climate Action Waterloo Region has just released its progress report on emissions in the region, and as your favourite local sustainable transportation provider, we can’t help but weigh in! Climate Action WR, headed up by Sustainable Waterloo Region and Reep Green Solutions, works with local action owners—including Community CarShare—to reduce the region’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across five focus areas: transportation, workplaces, homes, agriculture, and waste. The target is to reduce Waterloo Region’s GHG levels to six per cent below 2010 levels by 2020.

So how is Waterloo Region doing? Overall we’re on track to meet the target, however most of the reductions to date have come from the provincial phase out of coal-fired power plants. Without that phase out, our emissions would have actually gone up by 4.4 per cent. The five-year check-in report was released last week, and is full of awesome infographics.

Near and dear to our hearts at Community CarShare is the transportation component. And the results in this area are not so great. Transportation-related emissions have actually gone up five per cent since 2010. And new vehicles have hit the road at twice the rate of population growth, which means that some people living without cars in 2010 now own cars. As of 2015, transportation is responsible for half of the total GHG emissions in Waterloo Region. Reversing this trend and achieving the target is going to take action from all of us.

One tangible way to reduce your carbon footprint is by joining Community CarShare. Studies show that joining a carshare leads to decreased driving, since it makes you more conscious of your vehicle usage and helps you select the best mode of transportation for your trip. To help with those choices, your Community CarShare membership also gives you access to discounts on GRT passes.

If you’re already a member and still own a car, consider if the time is right to finally let it go. You can sign up all the drivers in your household on your existing account, and share the monthly plan fee. From now until the end of June, if you sign up an additional driver to your household account, the registration fee is 50 per cent off when you use the promocode TARGET6%.

If you’d like to find out more about Climate Action Waterloo Region and how you can get involved, you’re invited to their community engagement kick-off event, being held on Thurs. June 22, from 5pm-7pm at The Tannery. All the details can be found here.