Friday, August 27, 2010

Canberra Loves 40%

Yesterday The ACT Government announced an interim greenhouse reduction target of 40% reduction by 2020 on 1990 levels, with a view to reach carbon neutrality by 2060.This certainly is a strong target for the ACT and comes on the back of an agreement made by all major cities in Australia to reduce emissions 41% emissions cut by 2020 on 2006 levels. 

World cities use two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70 percent of global CO2 emissions, so it is in cities that can make a big difference to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Canberra's target has been labeled as ambitious and not surprising as we are one of the biggest carbon emitters per-capita in the world, but also other cities have quite ambitious targets like:

Copenhagen : Carbon neutral by 2025
London: 60% below 1990 baseline levels by 2025 
Seoul40% below 1990 baseline levels by 2030
Toronto: 6% below 1990 baseline levels by 2012; 30% by 2020
Amsterdam: 40% below 1990 baseline levels by 2025 
Rotterdam : 50% below 1990 baseline levels by 2025
Sydney:  70% greenhouse gas emission reduction target for the local government area by 2030 based on 2006 levels
Melbourne: Zero net emissions for the local government area by 2020
Canberra : 40% below 1990 levels by 2020, zero net emissions by 2060
So Canberra is matching and beating some of those targets set . Each city is different in terms of its layout, but all have emissions from two main areas such as buildings and transport.

Particularly for transport the use of the bicycle is important in reducing greenhouse gas emissions with really little effort and cost. Having a look at the graph you can see why.

While this graph shows an interesting relationship between all cities and you can see that cities that have high rates of bicycle use for transport like Copenhagen and Amsterdam have lower per capita transport emissions. Copenhagen is less dense than Toronto and yet has considerable less transport emissions and when you compare Amsterdam and Tokyo which is equal on emissions yet a huge difference in density. 

Canberra fits in between Brisbane and Perth on emissions and density. As we have five major town centres and well spread out, it will be the quality of infrastructure  and connections with public transport that will increase bicycle use in Canberra to any significant levels.
What will Canberra look like in the future, I hope it looks a little like this :

 and more like this:

Here's a great time-lapse video from Mikael ( & Copenhagen Cyclechic).