Use the Saanich Carbon Calculator to find out how many tonnes of greenhouse gases (GHGs) you have emitted in a year. The lower your GHG emissions, the lower your impact on our planet's climate.
Post your results online, and challenge yourself and friends to reduce your emissions and see who can get closest to zero fastest! (Use the Climate Action Guidebook [PDF - 12 MB] to help you make a plan.)
(If you don't live in British Columbia please use a different calculator. These results will not reflect your emissions, as the emissions factors are specific to our region. Read more about the methodology.)
What should my goal be?
In order to have a chance of keeping average global warming to below 1.5 oC, global GHG emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 and reduced to net zero by 2050. This means we each need to start reducing our personal GHG emissions now, so that:
We emit no more than 6 tCO2e this year
We reduce emissions every year thereafter, reaching the following targets:
no more than 3 tCO2e by 2030
zero tCO2e by 2050
You won’t be able to get to zero tCO2e using this calculator because even the least waste vegan diet has emissions associated with it (estimated here as 0.96 tonnes), and we all need to eat! This number will be revised as more data is available about the opportunities for carbon sequestration in agriculture.
Please note that the calculator only focuses on your personal emissions (those that you have control over) – it does not include the embodied emissions in your house, vehicles, belongings, or the roads, hospitals, government services, and other sources of emissions that form your per capita GHG emissions and are included in our community-wide targets. More information about the individual goal can be found here.
What's a "tCO2e"?
Short for "tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent," tCO2e is a handy way of talking about all greenhouse gas emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide, methane, and refrigerants, etc.) together in the same measurement.
What’s my global fair share?
We in Saanich are high emitters compared to other communities around the globe. The target above assumes that everyone in the globe is entitled to their current carbon emissions and that everyone must cut their emissions in half by 2030 and to zero by 2050.
However, it is much easier for those with large emissions to rapidly reduce them than for those who already have very small emissions. For example, asking those who frequently fly overseas to consider a local vacation to reduce their emissions is very different to asking someone living a subsistence lifestyle (living on the bare minimum food, water and lodging to survive) to reduce their emissions.
To that end, we can instead look at a “global fair share” of GHG emissions per person. One way to do that is to take the current global emissions and divide them equally between the Earth’s 7.8 billion people (not counting the people yet to be born!). Applying the IPCC reduction targets to this more equal allocation per person would cut the personal targets for 2030 above approximately in half.
How can I reduce my GHG emissions?
Reduce your GHG emissions:
on the road by choosing active or public transportation more, or switching to an electric car or electric bike. Incentives are available!
from your home by switching off fossil fuels (e.g. natural gas, oil) to renewable energy (such as electric heat pumps) for your space and water heating systems at replacement time, and improving home efficiency. Incentives are available!