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Sept 21, 2022

Ottawa Emission Target Unrealistic

Federal targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from Canadian homes face major challenges, says a report from the C.D. Howe Institute. ‘Only Hot Air? The Implications of Replacing Gas and Oil in Canadian Homes’ says a reality check is needed on Ottawa’s plan to bring down 2030 building emissions in Canada by 42 per cent compared to 2019, with the entire economy producing net zero emissions by 2050. Canadian homes emit about six per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Under the federal government’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP), residential emissions should fall from about 44 MT in 2019 to 25 MT in 2030. The institute’s modelling finds that Canada would need to retrofit over 400,000 dwellings per year to fully electrify all dwellings by 2050 and meeting 2030 targets requires even more aggressive action: over half a million retrofits would be required per year. Even in an extreme scenario where no new emitting buildings came on the market after 2022, emissions only fall by about 26 per cent to 2030, still not enough to meet government targets. To meet the 2030 reduction target of 42 per cent, not only would no zero new emitting homes need to be built after 2022, but the annual rate of retrofits would need to rise to 516,000 per year.

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