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
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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