Dec 5, 2008

Setting sustainability and environmental targets (2): the dimensions of sustainability

Our ongoing exploration of setting sustainability targets for a region like Ottawa Carleton has led us to explore similar exercises in Canada and elsewhere.

The Siemens-McKinsey picture of sustainability for Greater London
McKinsey company, in a study on the transition to sustainability for the greater London area (GLA) sponsored by Siemens, developed this spider web sustainability comparison of London and other major metropolitan areas in the world.

As can be seen in the above diagram, the six metrics for sustainability include CO2 emissions targets from buildings, industry and transportation, as well as municipal waste production, water use and air pollution.

Cities plus and the Greater Vancouver Region
Cities plus, a wide ranging exercise started in 2002 with a grant from the International Gas Union, explored the many dimensions of sustainability for the greater Vancouver region. Its scope for defining a sustainable future to 2100 encompassed many variables, including the end goals illustrated in the blue cinnamon role diagram below:

The end goals for a Greater Vancouver Region in 2100 cover four large categories:

Natural Habitat and Green Space Systems
Cultural Systems
First Nations Systems
Health and Well-Being Systems
Social Equity Systems
Agri-Food Systems
Communication Systems
Energy Systems
Housing and Buildings Systems
Materials Systems
Mobility Systems
Water Systems
Decision Support Systems
Economic Development Systems
Governance Systems
Human Security Systems
Land Use Systems

Some of the quantifiable metrics used include the following:

Developed by the Sheltair Group,

QUEST: Quality Urban Energy System of Tomorrow

Another Canadian wide initiative is QUEST (Quality Urban Energy System of Tomorrow) initially led by Lloyd Axworthy, then former BC Premier Mike Harcourt, the in itiative includes a birad range of interested stakeholders, including the following: Canada Green Building Council, Canadian Electricity Association, Canadian Energy Efficiency Alliance, Canadian Gas Association, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Industry Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Power Authority, Pollution Probe,

They published their joint report, “Integrated Energy Systems in Canadian Communities: A Consensus for Urgent Action” in March 2008, and just completed their latest meeting in Victoria in November 2008.

Some of the key features of their vision of sustainability include:

The QUEST initiative also recognizes, that based on the 2006 NRTEE’s “Advice on a Long-term Strategy on Energy and Climate Change” scenario of 60% reduction by 2050 shows that close to half of the reduction could come from buildings, transportation and urban form, what they call "the other 50%", i.e. sustainable communities.

Ralph Torrie's "Beyond Kyoto" analysis for the Suzuki Foundation

Lastly, we present the final results of Torrie's model calculations showing that it is not only possible to rech and exceed the Kyoto Targets for GHG emmissions, but also to do it with increasing population and GDP:

We will return in future posts in much greater depth to this analysis and the technologies and changes that need to be deployed to reach these targets in our future posts.

No comments: