In this article we look at how countries, such as Sweden and Canada, are reporting on the carbon footprint and following legislation.
Sweden is an environmental pioneer and was the first country in the world to pass an environmental protection act in 1967. It also hosted the first UN conference on the global environment in 1972.
Since then it has made lowering carbon emissions and limiting pollution a key goal and has managed to combine falling emission levels with a growing economy. One of the ways it achieved this is down to half of Sweden’s national energy supply coming from renewables and a thorough legislation aims at further reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate change caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is one of the leading global environment issues today. The Swedish government has set ambitious goals for sustainability, including going fossil-free by 2045 and 100 per cent renewable energy.
‘Emissions need to be reduced at a speed to ensure sustainable global growth. Transition needs to be effective and establish long-term rules,’ Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has said about the challenges ahead.
Reports from 2019 highlighted the fact that Canada, was the 10th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. Canada has an extensive network of hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants providing most of its power, but historically it has been slow to adopt other forms of low-carbon energy and cut its transport emissions.
Below is a summary of what makes up Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions:
- Electricity — 8.8%
- Oil and gas — 26%
- Agriculture — 10%
- Transportation — 25%
- Heavy industry — 11%
- Waste and others — 6.2%
- Buildings — 13%
Some of the ways in which Canada is trying to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these areas are highlighted below.
Homes and buildings
- Updating model codes for new and existing buildings to improve energy efficiency
- Setting energy-efficient appliance standards and programs
- Supporting Indigenous communities and governments as they improve the energy efficiency of their homes and buildings
- Phasing down hydrofluorocarbons that are commonly found in refrigerators, spray foams, and air-conditioning systems
- Making historic investments in public transit
- Providing over $182 million in funding for electric and alternative-fuel infrastructure
- Having established light-duty zero-emission vehicles policy sales targets of 10 percent by 2025, 30 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2040
- Providing a purchase incentive of up to $5,000 on eligible zero-emission vehicles
- Increasing the stringency of emissions standards for passenger vehicles and most trucks
- Developing cleaner fuels for vehicles
- Making historic investments in clean-tech and clean-business solutions
- Pricing emissions from large polluters
- Improving industrial energy efficiency
Oil and gas
- Reducing oil and gas methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent by 2025
- Developing a Clean Fuel Standard
Forestry, agriculture, and waste
- Supporting renewable fuels and bio-based products
- Launching the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, which will help reduce emissions from agricultural practices and support climate resilience
- Investing in landfill-methane-capture projects across Canada that repurpose waste as fuel
- Phasing out pollution from coal-fired electricity by 2030
- Setting new standards for natural-gas electricity
- Increasing investment in renewable energy
- Increasing investment in transmission lines and smart grids
- Supporting rural and remote communities to reduce reliance on diesel
- Putting a price on carbon pollution from fossil-fuel-based electricity
Working with an energy management company
Businesses can access help and compliance advice from an energy management company. A good one will provide services such as procurement and management, bill validation, usage reduction advice as well as compliance advice for various schemes including Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).
ECA Business Energy can help your business comply with SECR reporting. Their clients achieve 100% compliance with energy obligations thanks to their compliance and advice service.
By studying a business’ current energy suppliers, usage, and operational practices, they can assess these against environmental obligations, including:
- Mandatory Carbon Reporting (MCR) or Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR)
- ISO50001 Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)
- Display Energy Certificates (DECs)
- Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs)
- Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Systems (TM44)
They can also help a company achieve compliance in line with the Climate Change Agreement (CCA) for their application to the scheme.