If someone had told you in 2008—the year after the first iPhone was released—that in the next 15 years, virtually everyone in Canada would have a smart phone, you might have rolled your eyes all the way to the internet café (as you slowly tapped out a text on your numbered keypad).
Nowadays, it’s hard to believe we ever lived without the internet in our pockets. But that’s how adoption curves work: new technology is adopted slowly at first, then all at once, Corporate Knights writes.
The digital technology that swept our lives into this millennium changed the way we communicate and shop, plan trips and watch shows. But it also came with a heavy cost to the planet. The greenhouse gases produced by online video streaming exceed 1% of global emissions. Bitcoin miners produce more carbon emissions than all of Serbia.
The next wave of technological upgrades to our lives, however, will emit zero carbon. It’s going to change how we get around, the way we heat and cool our homes, and what we use to cook and take showers. The electric vehicle, heat pump, induction stove, and heat pump water heater may not alter our behaviour so much as texting and email. But they will revolutionize society, allowing us to continue to do many daily activities—only faster, more efficiently, and without producing any emissions.
And they are poised to go from curiosity to ubiquity more quickly than you think.
Their carbon-saving potential is enormous. According to an analysis by Corporate Knights’ research division and shared with the Toronto Star, these four technologies alone would cut the average Canadian household’s carbon footprint by 80%. If everyone made the switch, it would eliminate 92 megatonnes from Canada’s national emissions annually—more than the entire oil sands produces.
The financial benefit is even greater. If everyone in Canada swapped out their existing gas-powered car, furnace, stove and water heater for these green technologies, the collective yearly savings would be more than C$65 billion, the analysis found. That’s $4,300 per household.
This is an excerpt from a longer post on Corporate Knights, republished with permission. Click through for the rest of the story, including a set of online calculators.