HPAC Magazine

Carbon emissions in Greater Toronto/Hamilton increased 8% in 2022

November 29, 2023 | By HPAC Magazine

Report from The Atmospheric Fund shows buildings account for the largest contribution.

Carbon emissions in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA) increased by four million tonnes, or 8%, in 2022, the sharpest increase since 2015, according to a new report from The Atmospheric Fund (TAF).

The new emissions inventory includes 2022 data and analyzes longer term emissions trends from 2015 and progress against targets.

Buildings led the way in overall emissions for the region in 2022: buildings (46%), transportation (36%), industry (15%), waste (3%), and agriculture (1%). 

And the report finds that building emissions and transportation emissions each increased 9% in 2022, rebounding to pre-pandemic levels.   

“The solutions are right in front of us,” says Julia Langer, CEO of The Atmospheric Fund. “Our analysis shows progress on uptake of solutions like electric vehicles, energy efficiency and heat pumps, but policies and programs to support them must be bigger and faster. And we must not go backwards. Planning new fossil fuel infrastructure like gas plants and gas hookups have to stop. If you’re in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.”

TAF’s analysis of the data shows the 8% year-over-year increase was driven by rising emissions in almost every sector: natural gas used for space and water heating in buildings, gasoline and diesel from more kilometres traveled by car, and fossil fuels used by industry, largely steel and cement manufacturing.

The spike in emissions from electricity generation is also a concern. Emissions from electricity rose by 26% in 2022 due to increased use of natural gas-powered generating plants, which drove up the carbon intensity of the Ontario electricity grid overall.

The report includes recommendations for policymakers including a review of carbon emission reduction policies and programs such as retrofit programs that support energy efficiency and switching from gas heating to electric heat pumps.

Read the full report: http://carbon.taf.ca/



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