Op-Ed: Here’s how companies can strong-arm their suppliers into cutting carbon emissions
By Bill Draut
In January 2016, the University of Victoria (UVic) published a study that estimated Canada’s annual carbon emissions at 2.2 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e). The study, entitled “Canada’s Fossil-Fuel Costs and Emissions, 2015 to 2050,” was authored by Prof. Martin Mackie and Dr. James C. Ward, both professors in UVic’s School of Computer Science and Engineering. It was published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). This was just three years after the release of a report by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that predicted that temperatures are likely to increase by 2° to 4° C over the next century and that such increases cannot be avoided without serious efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC report concluded that temperatures have already doubled since pre-industrial times.
The IPCC report also noted that the world’s population is projected to grow from six billion people in 2015 to eight billion people by 2050, meaning that by 2050 Canada’s emissions are expected to grow by another 1.7 million tCO2e. In other words, Canada’s emissions will continue to grow while other countries will see their emissions drop.
In February 2016, I became aware of the study. It was a surprise to find that the study was not peer-reviewed. However, I was not surprised, because the study itself and the study’s methodology are similar to those used in many other industry reports. This is not to say that reports with similar content are not peer-reviewed, or that reports can’t be peer-reviewed using different methods, but what I’m saying is that the content of the study needs to be properly understood before it can be evaluated or rejected.