“Last Friday, I joined the Global Climate Strike in Vancouver, Canada, with a group of colleagues representing a coalition of prominent British Columbia businesses promoting a clean economy. It was inspiring and energizing for all of us to walk the streets with what the press estimated was 80,000 people, many families with small children and thousands of students attending with their entire schools. Vancouver schools and many colleges were closed, and you can’t argue that the political lesson we all learned on that day was invaluable. It was a hopeful, bright event on a gorgeous sunny day in Vancouver. Vancouver, along with many other cities in North America, demonstrated what huge people power lies behind the climate action and sustainability movement of today.
Many progressive politicians are taking note. The Green New Deal legislation in the U.S. Congress is inspired by the “New Deal” public works projects of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The “Green New Deal” addresses both climate change and economic growth, directing investment in renewable energy infrastructure to avoid severe climate change while increasing employment. In this brief report, let me illustrate how the polluting and inefficient freight transport industry in North America could be transformed by a “Green New Deal for Freight Transport.” How can we do this with existing, rapidly developing technology?
In a groundbreaking new study, LUT University and Energy Watch Group reveled that by 2050 the world economy can run on 100% renewable energy with zero CO2 emissions. Energy cost with 100% percent renewables is projected to be slightly less than in 2015, and employment in the energy sector is projected to increase from approximately 20 million (2015) to 35 million (2050). In North America, the transition to 100% renewal energy is projected to be associated with an increase in employment in the energy sector, from 1.8 million jobs (2015) to a peak of 3.8 million by 2025 and 2.7 million by 2050. Cost of freight transport in this scenario during the transition to 100% renewables will decline by 70%, with cost of trucking falling the most.”