TORONTO, Ontario, Canada — New analysis by The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) indicates that Canada’s proposed federal zero-emission vehicles (ZEV) regulation will result in over $90 billion in health benefits for Canadians over the next 25 years, including up to 11,000 avoided premature deaths.
The proposed regulation will ensure all Canadians have options available if they wish to purchase an electric vehicle. Auto manufacturers and importers would need to meet annual ZEV sales targets, increasing annually to at least 60% of sales by 2030 and 100% by 2035.
While the cumulative carbon reduction impacts of a ZEV regulation are evident, estimated at 430 megatonnes, health benefits have been excluded or significantly underestimated until now. Implementation of the ZEV regulation will dramatically reduce transportation sector emissions of criteria air contaminants. The main source of these pollutants is associated with adverse health effects such as premature mortality, increased hospitalizations, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other chronic respiratory diseases.
“Beyond lifetime ownership cost savings and climate benefits, TAF’s analysis of the government’s proposed electric vehicle sales regulation shows staggering value from a health perspective,” says Julia Langer, CEO of The Atmospheric Fund. “We hope this excellent opportunity provides a compelling case for implementing these targets on schedule.”
TAF has monetized the cumulative health benefits of the ZEV sales targets using Health Canada metrics. The total savings are based on the reduced air pollution that would be realized across Canada’s two biggest mega regions, which represent 83% of total new passenger automobile sales and 74% of new truck sales in Canada. If extended to the rest of the country, the total cost savings would be even more staggering, at a time when Canada’s healthcare system is under extreme pressure.
“Climate change is the greatest health threat we face, and solving the climate crisis is our greatest health opportunity,” says Dr. Samantha Green, president-elect of Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment. “Air pollution is responsible for one in seven premature deaths in Canada, and tackling emissions related to personal vehicles will have tremendous immediate health benefits.”
For Canadians to realize these health, climate and financial impacts, the schedule and ambition of the proposed ZEV regulation would have to remain intact. Public and stakeholder consultations on the proposed regulation are underway until March 16, 2023.
Notes to Editors
Analysis of Canada’s Zero Emission Vehicle Sales Regulation uses Health Canada’s benefits per tonne (BPTs) metrics to monetize the criteria air contaminant health impacts (see Health Benefits Per Tonne of Air Pollutant Emissions Reduction, Health Canada). Health Canada limits the use of these BPTs to estimate the benefits of reducing air pollution across two mega regions: southwestern British Columbia (SWBC) and the Windsor-Quebec City Corridor (WQCC) (see Air Quality, Public Health Ontario). These BPTs and a series of criteria air contaminant emission factors are then applied to the estimated annual gasoline fuel savings associated with new ZEV passenger automobile and light truck sales (see Air pollution: drivers and impacts, Environment and Climate Change Canada).
About The Atmospheric Fund
The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) is a regional climate agency that invests in low-carbon solutions for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and helps scale them up for broad implementation. We are experienced leaders and collaborate with stakeholders in the private, public and non-profit sectors who have ideas and opportunities for reducing carbon emissions. Supported by endowment funds, we advance the most promising concepts by investing, providing grants, influencing policies and running programs. We’re particularly interested in ideas that offer benefits in addition to carbon reduction such as improving people’s health, creating local jobs, boosting urban resiliency, and contributing to a fair society.
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