From designing energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure, to improving the delivery systems of clean and renewable energy technologies, Engineers Canada has issued a series of recommendations to help the federal government achieve its net-zero emissions targets by 2050.
The recommendations are part of a new national position statement from Engineers Canada representing consensus positions of the 12 provincial and territorial engineering regulators on challenges such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs).
Canada has committed to transition the economy and achieve net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 through the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act, which consists of Emissions Reduction Plans in five-year increments from 2030-2045.
Engineers Canada says its workforce will play “crucial” roles in the country’s net-zero transition. It suggests that its workforce can provide the expertise and solutions necessary to achieve the federal government’s net-zero targets, as well as identify and address the barriers to implementation and in the design and operation of the infrastructure needed to support the transition.
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The new national position statement encourages the federal government to “engage professional engineers when developing or amending legislation and regulations related to engineering work on issues that affect Canada’s net-zero future, including strengthening Canada’s innovative output, protecting structural integrity of physical infrastructure, protecting the natural environment, and finding solutions across economic sectors for a net-zero carbon economy.”
To meet emissions targets, the Engineers Canada position paper says a combination of measures can be considered. These measures could include “dramatically increasing” renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, hydro and nuclear, as well as increasing the use of electricity and hydrogen in the transmission and end use of energy and energy storage technologies.
Additionally, the position paper suggests improving energy efficiency to reduce energy consumption in domestic, commercial and industrial sectors, including buildings, transportation, and industry.
Engineers Canada says it will also be critical to invest in the development and deployment of new technologies, such as carbon capture and storage, to reduce emissions from industrial processes and power generation.
The paper suggests that engineering bodies will continue to promote the adoption of sustainable engineering practices and technologies through the development and dissemination of national guidelines. Engineers Canada said it will also be important for engineering bodies to work towards the societal acceptance of certain technologies.