Wednesday, March 25, 2009

"Green" Power and Hypocrisy

In the last few days it seems that the debate about "green" power here in the BC has heated up. The subject has come up in blogs, newspaper editorials, email lists and even at a business reception last night.

It is frustrating for me that so much of the focus for climate change solutions in BC is on electrical power generation.

Please don't get me wrong - we shouldn't ignore electrical generation. I certainly don't. My professional life is spent working on renewable energy and energy conservation solutions.

But, here in BC electrical generation accounts for only a small fraction of our ghg emissions (2%). The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions is transportation (36-40%). Shouldn't our focus be on reducing emissions in the transportation and building sectors? We are not going to meet the targets required unless we start to focus on these areas.

Why aren't these sectors generating the same amount of discussion when in fact they are far more significant than electrical generation?

In the last few days I have seen the word "hypocrisy" applied to those on one side of the "green" energy debate. It may be justified but it can certainly be applied to both sides. There are some people who have jumped on the "green" energy bandwagon claiming that they are doing so because of their concern over climate change. Yet, they they don't seem to acknowledge the much larger contributors to climate change in our province. In fact, in some cases they have even argued that we should NOT oppose the construction of new highways.

Climate Change is such a significant threat that we need to focus on all sources of emissions and all potential solutions. We certainly shouldn't be ignoring the most significant sources.

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