Comprehensive Carbon Emission Reduction Program Using Carbon Calculator to Track Our Efforts
In order to reach dramatic CO2 emission reduction targets, we need a comprehensive program that provides a framework and incentive for us to work together to implement the great ideas described on this site.
The city has set broad reduction targets and in order to meet our current and future targets (I and I think many others are willing to take even bigger steps), we need to be able to see, at a concrete level, the impact of our actions (ie - the amount of CO2 in the air going up or down) - as individuals and families, as businesses and corporations, as neighbhourhoods, as schools, as government departments, and as a city.
We may need to spend funds on sophisticated tracking technology – so be it – in order to take concerted action, we need better feedback loops in place.
The Proposed Program (not that hard to implement): Find or modify a user-friendly, but robust on-line carbon calculator (eg: Zerofootprint - Toronto's using it), set a concrete carbon reduction target (ie: like 3.5 tonnes per capita - we’re at 4.6 now), and use current or create smaller neighbourhoods to organize and compete with each other to reach the target (establish specific baseline numbers for each neighbourhood/sector first).
Provide support for individuals/families, and businesses to use the calculator and reduce their respective emissions. Provide support for neighbourhood cooperation, eg: carpools, house/appt retrofitting for heat/energy reduction. Provide industry/business sector support (with help from prov. and fed. governement) to reduce their share of the emissions (they're a lot bigger than the residential sector's).
Ensure the calculator can quickly compare the progress of individual/family (our own privately and group average), neighbourhoods, sectors and city with our target and with other targets (eg: other cities, Canada, other countries etc.)
Also measure the impact of large city/regional actions (eg: transportation projects) so we can see if our taxes are actually achieving the reductions intended.
Regularly publish neighourhood and sector emission reductions so we can see at a collective level, how everyone's doing.
Ensure a free flow of information, feedback, ideas and achievements are going between neighbourhoods, sectors and back and forth to the city to (eg: modify and keep up the Talk Green to Us site).
And of course, get a great buzz going with an effective info campaign so everyone understands exactly how the program works, why we're doing it and can’t wait to get involved to make those carbon emissions disappear off the graph!
Need to call this something much more fun - eg. "Carbon Countdown". I'd like to see the city (the region) start taking carbon reduction much more seriously - alot of people know we're at 395 (350 being optimal) and climbing. Would be good if we all knew that and what it means. It's just been reported that 40 (40!) per cent of phytoplankton has disappeared in many of the oceans (see Quirks and Quarks a few weeks ago) they think because of the ocean surface temperature - but ocean acidification is a big (and not well-advertised) issue as well - and may be a cause. Angela
Wish I hadn't up all my votes; I like this posting. Having some sort of way of measureing progress is a very good idea. In sports they keep score. In business they keep accounts. In science they track the results closely. But what have we got to really add up how we are doing with ghg reduction? This is an intelligent and important observation. The poster I think is right in her observation (condensed) that there needs to something to give feed back in order to keep-up and accelerate momentum in this area. I'm am not sure that it is everything nor am I not sure that it must be highly comprehensive, but it is a really good point. Nice.