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Reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“Reduce the City of Saskatoon's greenhouse gas emissions"  measures our success as an organization in reducing our impact on climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 40% below 2014 levels by 2023, and by 80% below 2014 levels by 2050.

“Reduce the community of Saskatoon's greenhouse gas emissions" measures our success as a community in reducing our impact on climate change by lowering greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 2014 levels by 2023, and by 80% below 2014 levels by 2050.

How are we doing?

In 2017, City Administration completed work on an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) emission inventory for the corporation and the community with 2014 data. The report generated recommendations to update the corporate City of Saskatoon GHG reduction target and create a community-wide target as highlighted above. 

The new targets support the City of Saskatoon's status as a signatory to the Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy. The Covenant of Mayors for Climate Change and Energy is a global coalition of mayors and city officials pledging to reduce local GHGs, enhance resilience to climate change, and track progress transparently. By signing the compact, cities and towns must actively and publicly demonstrate their efforts to fight climate change. 

Data Table
Total Corporate City of Saskatoon Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  1990 2003 2006 (est) 2013 (est) 2014 ...2023 ...2050
Gas Emissions (tonnes CO2e) 74094 91298 94700 117100 106497 63900 21300


Description

The targets measure our success as a corporation and as community in reducing our impact on climate change by lowering GHG emissions and diversifying to more renewable energy sources.  

  • In order for the City of Saskatoon to meet its corporate targets of "40% below 2014 levels by 2023" and "80% below 2014 levels by 2050" an average reduction of 6,085 tonnes will be required  annually from 2017 to 2023 and 1,580 tonnes from 2023 to 2050.
  • In order for the Saskatoon to meet its community targets of "15% below 2014 levels by 2023" and "80% below 2014 levels by 2050" an average reduction of 64,500 tonnes will be required  annually from 2017 to 2023 and 7,200 tonnes from 2023 to 2050. 

What do we need to do to achieve this target?

Setting targets for emissions reductions is the first step in providing support to the corporation and the community to engage in mitigation activities that will contribute to reductions committed to by the Federal government.  

Initiatives being implemented, planned, and awaiting funding and their GHG reduction contributions are displayed below.  These are not the only emissions reducing initiatives underway at the City of Saskatoon, but provide a general overview of the potential for  GHG reductions based on current activities.

Sector and Targeted Civic Initiatives  Affect on Emissions (tonnes C02e) % Reduction on Community Emissions
Energy (e.g. energy performance contracting, landfill gas expansion project) 326,000 -8.5%
Waste (e.g. recycling programs, organics programs) 89,000 -2.3%
Transportation (e.g. alternative transportation programs) 70,000 -1.8%
Asset Management (e.g. land use strategies, natural asset strategies) 17,000 -0.4%
Totals 502,000 -13.0%

 

What can residents do to reduce emissions?

  • Water Conservation - if each home in Saskatoon used rainwater for 50% of their outdoor watering and switched to high-efficiency toilets it would reduce GHG emissions by 3,000 tonnes
  • Personal Vehicle Travel - if 50% of commuters found alternate modes of transportation (i.e. carpooling, public transit, cycling, and/or walking) it would reduce GHG emissions by 218,000 tonnes
  • Waste Reduction - if all recyclable and organic materials were appropriately disposed of at single unit residential homes and multi-unit residential buildings it would reduce GHG emissions by 151,000 tonnes 
  • Energy Conservation - if every resident turned the lights off in one room in their home for one hour per day it would reduce GHG emissions by 10,000 tonnes in one year

What are the benefits of achieving the target?

Solutions to reduce GHG emissions have been shown to produce a number of societal, economic, cultural, and environmental co-benefits, including: 

  • Improved land-use planning and development patterns
  • Improvements to individual and public health
  • Economic development
  • Increases in innovation
  • Lower consumer and commercial utility bills
  • Enhanced social capital and community cohesiveness
  • Smaller ecological footprint
  • Increased equity and quality of life benefits
  • A safer, healthier, and more accessible city
  • Strategic regional planning
  • Quieter environment
  • More access to natural, recreational, cultural, and educational spaces
  • Improved protection and enhancement of natural and naturalized areas
  • Decreased burden on future generations

What are the risks?

Few risks exist with efforts aimed at reducing GHG emissions and building Saskatoon's resiliency against climate change. However, there is currently no source funding for the Natural Capital Asset Valuation project or the Climate Adaptation Strategy. As a result the City of Saskatoon will need to leverage existing capital funding and/or secure new funding sources for these initiatives to progress. 

 

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