6 charts show how we can make Canadian electricity 100% renewable within 20 years

Canada could transition completely to renewable electricity sources by 2035, according to a new report by 70 Canadian scientists, engineers and academics.

Their 10 major policy and climate-change action recommendations include putting a price on carbon, investment in low-carbon transportation, boosting the country's capacity to share low-carbon power sources (like hydroelectricity) across provincial borders, and helping cities transition to a low-carbon economy.

The report also blames a lack of federal leadership for encouraging a patchwork of provincial policies.

The researchers argue that with political willpower, "strong investment" and intergovernmental coordination, Canada could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the middle of the 21st century:

"Moving away from a piecemeal approach and adopting coordinated climate policy is essential."

1. Here is how that coordinated approach might play out on the ground:


2. Here is how Canadian surface temperatures will rise if we transition to a low carbon economy:


3. Here is how hot Canada may get if we stay the current path:

If current trends continue, the report predicts increasingly erratic weather patterns -- such as the 2012 drought and 2013 floods in Calgary and Toronto.


2014 government report from Natural Resources Canada also showed that the country is indeed getting hotter -- and that "changes in climate are increasingly affecting Canada’s natural environment, economic sectors and the health of Canadians."

4. Here is a breakdown of Canadian GHG emissions by sector, as well as the sources of our energy consumption:


5. Here is how Canada can get to 100% low carbon electricity:

The report recommends improving the east-west electrical grid to take advantage of Canadian hydroelectricity and better share it across provincial borders -- coupled with targeted development of wind and solar energy:

"Because renewable energy resources are plentiful, we believe that Canada could reach 100% reliance on low-carbon electricity by 2035."


6. By the way, here is how Canada has been doing so far at reducing GHG emissions:


The Canadian researchers targeted their release ahead of April's planned climate change summit for premiers, with the hope that Canada can "make an ambitious and thoughtful commitment of emissions reduction in December at the 2015 Paris-Climate Conference."

Photos: jonbgem. Used under Creative Commons licenses.  

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