The time for funding electric buses is now

VICTORIA — Merran Smith, executive director at Clean Energy Canada, made this statement following Vancouver transit provider TransLink’s request for funding from the federal government for the electrification of its bus fleet:

“Electrifying transit is an unmissable opportunity to fight climate change. Transit already reduces personal car use, but electric transit turns a good solution into a great one, enabling millions of Canadians to get around pollution-free.

“In B.C., replacing a diesel bus with an electric version is equal to taking 26 cars off the road each year, based on Clean Energy Canada’s analysis. They also improve air quality and reduce noise pollution, leading to healthier, quieter communities.

“TransLink has a plan to electrify its entire bus fleet by 2040, but action needs to start now. Buses hitting the road today will still be driving a decade from now, and we cannot afford to lock in obsolete technology. Electric buses are smart investments. The dividends? Huge fuel savings, less pollution, healthier riders, new jobs and opportunity for Canada’s electric bus manufacturers.

“Last year, the governments of Canada, B.C. and Vancouver signed the Drive to Zero pledge, signalling a commitment to reduce pollution from commercial vehicles like buses. The prime minister’s mandate letter to the minister for infrastructure and housing also indicated that new federal transit investments should support zero-emission buses.

“TransLink is ready and willing, but they need federal support in the upcoming budget. Let’s not miss the bus on this one.”

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World losing climate race, warns UN chief Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. ReutersUnited Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres speaks during the U.N. Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. Reuters

The world is losing the race against climate change, UN chief Antonio Guterres warned here on Thursday, demanding bolder action from the governments and a shift to a low-carbon economy which he said represented a whopping USD 26 trillion growth opportunity.

Speaking at the annual UN climate meeting in Madrid, Guterres cautioned the 197 nations attending the event that by the end of the century, temperature may rise by 3 to 4 degrees celsius.

He cited a study showing that shifting to a low-carbon economy could create 65 million new jobs worldwide by 2030 and boost growth by USD 26 trillion dollars.

“We are losing the climate race. On our current trajectory, we are looking at a 3 to 4-degree temperature rise by the end of the century. But we can choose another path. This path is about people’s jobs, health, education, opportunities, and their future,” the UN Secretary-General said in his address at the 25th conference of parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

“The New Climate Economy tells us that shifting to a low-carbon economy represents a USD 26 trillion growth opportunity that could create 65 million new jobs by 2030. Today, the fastest-growing job creators in several economies are those related to solar, wind and geothermal energy and related businesses,” he said. MORE