Transportation, buildings, and industry account for 95% of direct emissions from the Bay Area. 

Developing and advocating for climate solutions in these three sectors is BACCC’s main focus. Although our efforts are targeted at these three sectors in particular, we continue to support other forms of climate action.

“It is possible to move people and goods around sustainably, by adopting policies that boost transit and shared mobility services, enable more people to walk and cycle, and pursue the widespread uptake of low-carbon vehicles.”

Bay Area Climate Change Council

Transportation

Transportation is a major source of emissions and air pollution. About 17% of our region’s carbon pollution comes from burning gasoline and diesel in our cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, and light freight shipping (including e-commerce deliveries).

The transformation to a low carbon economy is only achievable with deep reductions in personal and commercial vehicle emissions. 

Bay Area Transportation Connectivity

BACCC is examining service gaps and identifying opportunities to improve transit and cycling connectivity between the Bay Area communities. According to the 2016 Transportation Tomorrow Survey, about 32,000 trips between Hamilton and Burlington happen every 24hrs.

Project Goals

  • Identify key areas of weakness where policies and practices could mutually benefit transportation networks for both Hamilton and Burlington
  • Develop a more collaborative and efficient Bay Area transportation partnership to improve services
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions through an increase in public transportation ridership and active transportation trips between cities
icon of a light rail transit train

A Lower Carbon Future

Youth Public Transit Ridership

Encouraging greater transit ridership among youth can lower today’s emissions and potentially create ridership habits that reduce emissions tomorrow. 

Project Goals

  • Identify opportunities to support youth transportation education and locate funding where necessary

Big Data Initiative

The availability of timely and accurate data for assessing travel patterns within the Bay Area has been identified as a barrier to reducing transportation emissions.

BACCC is convening stakeholders to expand the use of big data in the Bay Area communities. Big data has the potential to inform policy makers looking to reduce transportation emissions.

What is Big Data?

  • Big data in transportation involves using advanced tools to analyze large data sets for travel patterns. The data can come from a variety of sources including bluetooth sensors, cell towers, GPS, usage data, census data, and surveys.

“Big Data” for the purpose of this project

In this project, we plan to focus on:

  • Utilizing advanced analytics software tools to interpret large volumes of structured and unstructured mobility data and information collected over time since 2016
  • Focusing on multimodal* passenger trips that originate in Hamilton or Burlington

* Multimodal is an inclusive and equitable term and does not inadvertently exclude other modes such as accessible mobility devices, mobility as a service (Uber, Lyft..) and scooters when they inevitably evolve in our transportation systems

Project Goals

  • Develop a set of goals for the use of big data – informed by stakeholder engagement and currently available data
  • Develop a recommendation report that outlines the ways big data analysis may support Bay Area mobility
  • Use the findings from the big data analysis to make informed transportation decisions to actively lower greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area through lower carbon alternatives


Buildings

Nearly 18% of our region’s carbon pollution comes from heating, cooling and powering our homes, apartments, and commercial buildings.

The only pathway to a low-carbon future for the Bay Area involves transitioning our existing buildings off fossil fuels and undertaking deep energy retrofits on a massive scale. At the same time, we need to build new structures to a zero carbon standard.

icon of a screwdriver and a wrench crossed in an x

Home Energy Retrofits

BACCC is supporting the successful implementation of home energy retrofit programs – identified as one of the most important opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.

What is a Home Energy Retrofit?

A home energy retrofit involves a systems approach to reducing carbon emissions from existing buildings, with a focus on actions that will reduce and/or eliminate the use of fossil fuels as a source of energy. Retrofit measures can include:

  • Adding insulation
  • Sealing air leaks
  • Upgrading mechanical systems
  • Replacing windows and/or doors
  • Heat pump installation
  • Thermal controls
  • Renewable energy

A full retrofit can cost upwards of $30,000. Programs can support homeowners in accessing grants and/or low-cost financing to undertake the renovation. In Canada, these are often provided through the municipality through Local Improvement Charges (LICs).

Retrofit Program Design

BACCC’s Implementation Team has advised on the design of a municipal retrofit program for both cities in the Bay Area. This design primarily considers emissions targets, cost benefit analysis, local context, and equity. BACCC is sharing the outcomes of this work with City of Hamilton and City of Burlington staff, to ensure local homeowners receive support for their home upgrades.

What is a Retrofit Delivery Centre?

A retrofit delivery centre is a “one stop shop” for consumers to access the information they need to undertake a home energy retrofit.

Currently, Bay Area homeowners who want to undertake home energy retrofits are left to navigate a complex system on their own – from trying to find a trusted energy advisor, to securing financing and incentives, to comparing the costs of new technologies with limited information. This is a time-intensive, often frustrating and expensive process. A delivery centre can help streamline these services for homeowners.

Market Readiness

BACCC is supporting market readiness for the home energy retrofit sector by convening and educating stakeholders, by liaising with industry associations, and training providers to develop programs.

Once a home energy retrofit program is established, the market for retrofit services will grow exponentially. Demand will grow for energy advisory services, renovations, and energy efficient equipment sales, installation, and maintenance.

There is an opportunity to meet the market by growing the number of trained professionals for residential retrofits. There will be new jobs for energy advisors, tradespeople, and HVAC professionals. New graduates will find a new set of skills in demand. Professionals currently in the field will require training to learn new technologies and techniques.

Education will also be needed in real estate and financial services sectors. Realtors, appraisers, inspectors, and loan officers will have to learn about home energy retrofits and their impact on home values and loans. 

Municipal inspectors and permitting staff will also need education on the new technologies and installation practices.


Industrial Emissions

Industrial emissions account for 60% of Bay Area greenhouse gas emissions.

Without significant, deep cuts in industrial emissions, our climate targets will not be met. That said, how we address industrial emissions in our community matters. 

It is technically possible for Hamilton and Burlington to reduce their emissions without having any impact on climate change whatsoever. If, for example, a major manufacturer leaves the Bay Area for another jurisdiction, the Bay Area’s industrial emissions will drop, but the overall climate impact remains unchanged. This is referred to as carbon leakage.

icon of a manufacturing cog

Carbon Leakage

Carbon leakage occurs when production is shifted to areas outside of a targeted jurisdiction. Leakage undermines the environmental effectiveness of a policy by failing to actually reduce emissions, but rather, simply moving their origin elsewhere.

In order for Burlington and Hamilton’s efforts to reduce emissions to have any impact whatsoever on global climate change, their emissions reductions need to be a reflection of deep local reductions, not industrial flight.

Project Goals

  • Reduce local industrial emissions without carbon leakage
  • Support local industrial players in their advocacy for emissions reductions funding
  • Convey existing opportunities for emissions reductions to decision makers
  • Connect industrial players with supports for R&D where the path to emissions reductions is unclear
  • Convene and connect industrial players, sharing best practices

A Just Transition

As is most often the case, it is the poorest and most vulnerable that suffer the greatest impacts of a crisis.
Climate change is no exception.

“Populations at disproportionately higher risk of adverse consequences with global warming of 1.5°C and beyond include disadvantaged and vulnerable populations, some Indigenous peoples, and local communities dependent on agricultural or coastal livelihoods.”

IPCC’s Special Report: Global Warming of 1.5

Equity and Climate Change

Climate action has the opportunity to advance equity, while also addressing our changing climate. BACCC is committed to responding to the climate crisis with policies that promote equity.

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