Manitoba’s Road to Resilience report reveals strategies for improving province’s climate pollution

WINNIPEG — A new Manitoba climate report shows we still have a lot of work to do as a province if we want to meet our greenhouse gas emission goals by 2030.

The province’s Climate Action Team released “Manitoba’s Road to Resilience” report, a document that outlines the actions needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The report shows transportation accounted for 42% of Manitoba’s total climate pollution in 2018, and the transportation sector has been the largest source of climate pollution every year since official records started.

One recommendation in the report was more frequent bus schedules, and more bike infrastructure, in effort to take cars off the road and reduce emissions.

Lead author of the report, Kurt Hall said we need to get off car culture and onto mass transportation, and he practises what he preaches.

“Our family, we sold our car in 2008 and thought we probably won’t be able to get by without it, but in fact it’s made life simpler,” said Hall.

“We don’t have to worry about the darn vehicle, parking, etc. We use Peg City Car Co-op. buses, and bikes.”

The report recommends more car sharing and ride-sharing programs in the city, it also suggests eliminating free parking because it encourages people to use their personal vehicle.

Green Action Centre, a Winnipeg-based charity that promotes greener living was part of the report.

Mel Marginet is part of their Sustainable Transportation Team, she said they promote taking transit, walking, carpooling, and biking.

“To meet our City of Winnipeg climate action targets, we have to have a 50% driving mode share by 2050, currently about 80% of people are commuting in a personal vehicle for some or all of their trips.”

Marginet said there are already plans in place to make these changes, like the City of Winnipeg’s Pedestrian and Cycling Strategies; she said the city isn’t acting on them.

“We’re not financing them, we’re spending a majority of our money on infrastructure for personal vehicles.”

The report recommends a shift to an electric bus fleet in the city, and suggests living closer to your workplace, reducing the need for travel.

Chairperson for the Standing Policy Committee on Infrastructure, Renewal, and Public Works, Coun. Matt Allard said public transit only accounts for .8 per cent of total community emissions, compared to the 50 per cent from private and commercial vehicles.

“Electrification is great, but what we need is more frequent bus service, and the best way we can do that is by having a healthy transit budget and this government is the one that cancelled that 50/50 transit funding.”

Allard said bettering transit will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The report also has recommendations for reducing emissions in the building sector as well as the agriculture sector.

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