Fuelling 2050: The Road Forward

The Conference Board of Canada, 42 pages, January 13, 2022
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How realistic are Canada’s aspirations for net-zero GHG emissions? With less than 30 years left to 2050, we explored what an achievable pathway looks like for the transportation sector.

Document Highlights

  • Getting to net zero requires decoupling emissions from economic growth and the energy use it embodies. For the transportation sector, this challenge is daunting.
  • Canada’s transportation sector accounts for about 29 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, half of which come from passenger cars and other light-duty vehicles.
  • By 2050, Canada’s transportation energy mix will still be dominated by oil and gas, but their share will drop by about a third from today’s 90 per cent. The magnitude of that drop will depend on new liquid fuels, gas, and electricity technologies, and consumer behaviour changes.
  • This transition goes beyond switching to electric. It means reimagining urban spaces, increasing mobility options, supporting public transit, and investing in urban planning.
  • An achievable pathway should be viewed through a sustainability lens—including realistic costing of impacts; support for Canadians’ social fabric and standard of living; and climate change objectives that are economically and scientifically sound.

Table of Contents

Key Findings
Introduction
Today’s Transportation Snapshot
The Road Forward—Transitioning to 2050
Current and Future Energy Mix
Case Study: Electric Passenger Vehicles
Case Study: Hydrogenation-Derived Renewable Diesel (HDRD)
Canada’s Transportation Sector in 2050

Appendix A—Methodology

Appendix B—Core Assumptions of Energy Scenarios for Canada

Appendix C—Attributes of Energy Vectors

Appendix D—Bibliography

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