• The Race to Meet Net Zero by 2050

    By: Kassie Burns

    Greenhouse gases (GHGs) and the use of fossil fuels are the primary contributors to climate change and one of the largest global hurdles we are facing in our attempt to meet Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050. Achieving Net Zero would mean Canada does not emit GHG emissions and/or offsets its emissions to ensure there is no overall increase (Government of Canada, 2023). The transportation industry accounts for 25% of Canada’s total domestic GHGs, where passenger cars and light trucks account for half of these emissions (Government of Canada, 2022). To address this issue, the Government of Canada has proposed Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations to introduce new requirements for manufacturers of vehicles for sale in Canada.  

    The requirements will work towards decarbonizing the transport industry by requesting that vehicles produce zero emissions. These zero emission vehicles (ZEVs) can be battery electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hydrogen fuel cell operated, ensuring they do not produce tailpipe emissions (Transport Canada, 2021). The new regulations are being phased out so that 20% of passenger car and light truck sales will be ZEV by 2026, at least 60% by 2030, and 100% by 2035. This plan hopes to have all GHG emitting vehicles phased out by 2050, given a car life expectancy of 15 years.  

    To help encourage the transition to this new set of vehicles, the government has developed the Incentive for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV) Program. This program will allow people to receive up to $5,000 when purchasing or leasing eligible zero-emission vehicles, and it is continuing until March 31, 2025.  

    Brock is happy to help offer accessible charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs), with 22 ports across 13 charging stations on campus!  

    The news shared here helps contribute to the following Sustainable Development Goals: SDG 11 and SDG 13. 


    Government of Canada. (2022). Canada Gazette, Part I, Volume 156, Number 53: Regulations Amending the Passenger Automobile and Light Truck Greenhouse Gas Emission Regulations. Retrieved from,  

    Government of Canada. (2023). Net-Zero Emissions by 2050. Retrieved from, 

    Transport Canada. (2021). Zero Emission Vehicles. Retrieved from, 

    Categories: Net-Zero, Student Contributor

  • $7.9 million in provincial funding means green light for Brock’s green energy project

    The second phase of a massive project to upgrade Brock University’s co-generation power facility is moving forward after an Ontario government funding announcement made Tuesday, March 27 in Toronto.

    The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) announced $85.2 million in funding for eight Ontario universities through its Greenhouse Gas Campus Retrofits Program (GGCRP) Innovation Grant Fund. The GGCRP is designed to help post-secondary institutions reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.

    Brock will receive $7.9 million to complete Phase 2 of its District Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP), which will upgrade and modernize the University’s co-generation facility, a reliable and energy-efficient source of electricity, cooling and heating on campus.

    The first, $10.8-million phase of the DEEP project started 18 months ago and is replacing half of the existing natural gas-powered co-gen engines with state-of-the-art, high efficiency, electronically controlled units. That project is expected to be completed this summer.

    DEEP Phase 2, which is being funded entirely through the Ontario government’s $7.9-million investment, will replace the remaining co-gen engines and install a new high-efficiency electric chiller unit. Work got started earlier this month and will be wrapped up by March 2019. No power interruptions are anticipated on campus as a result of the work.

    “Phase 2 is fully focused on carbon reduction and efficiency,” said Scott Johnstone, Associate Vice-President of Facilities Management. “The existing plant is about 25 years old. We’re replacing it with the latest technology that will make the entire co-gen facility more efficient.”

    The completed DEEP project will result in Brock’s annual NOx (nitrogen oxide) gas emissions dropping from 55 tonnes to just 8 tonnes and non-methane hydrocarbons reducing from 15 tonnes to four. The new co-generation engines will also consume 26 per cent less fuel and result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in utility cost saving each year.

    “This project isn’t just about saving money, it’s about making Brock University more environmentally friendly and reducing our carbon footprint,” said Johnstone.

    St. Catharines MPP Jim Bradley said the province and Brock University share a common goal of significant carbon reduction.

    “This investment by the Ontario government reaffirms its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions on university campuses. This will allow the province of Ontario and its post-secondary institutions to lead by example when it comes to being energy efficient,” said Bradley.

    Brian Hutchings, Brock’s Vice-President, Administration, said the government’s investment in the co-generation facility will have a positive effect elsewhere in the University.

    “What’s unprecedented for Brock with this project is that it’s 100 per cent funded by the province,” Hutchings said. “The upgrades will result in significant utility cost savings, which will allow us to keep those costs flat during a period of inflation.”

    With the completion of the second phase of the DEEP project, all of the equipment in the co-generation facility will be new, which Johnstone said “will set the University up for another 25 or 30 years of service.”

    Story originally published in The Brock News

    Categories: Energy, Net-Zero, Sustainability, Sustainability at Brock