An Uber driver is seen in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Uber Technologies Inc. is launching a handful of sustainability measures in Canada to help it reach lofty goals it has set for the market and beyond. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Uber unveils Canadian commitments to reach goal of being emission-free by 2040

Uber’s commitments come as the ride-hailing business has slumped in several markets during the COVID-19 pandemic

Uber Technologies Inc. is launching a handful of sustainability measures in Canada in an effort to reach lofty goals it has set for lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

The San Francisco-based ride-hailing giant said Tuesday that it will encourage the use of electric and hybrid vehicles by offering rewards and savings for riders and earnings for drivers who use them and allocating $800 million in resources to the cause.

The company said its new and targeted approach to sustainability will help it reach two goals it has set: getting 100 per cent of rides in Canada, the U.S. and Europe completed on battery EVs by 2030 and ensuring all trips on the platform globally are emission-free by 2040.

Uber’s commitments come as the ride-hailing business has slumped in several markets during the COVID-19 pandemic, but global attention around climate change has not dissipated.

“We want to take this opportunity to do more, to do better and to do our part to drive the green recovery in our cities,” said Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, in a media briefing Tuesday.

“Uber has a clear responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and today we are committing to … tackle the climate crisis more aggressively than ever before.”

When two-thirds of the world’s population was under lockdown in early April, carbon emissions fell 17 per compared with last year, but by June, the drop was only five per cent, Khosrowshahi said.

“Carbon emissions will return to normal soon,” he warned.

Canada has committed to eliminating 200 million tonnes of greenhouse gases by 2030 under the Paris climate change agreement. Studies have showed that COVID-19 measures have so far pushed the country’s emissions down 20 per cent.

Uber said the pandemic has hastened its climate change efforts, which include Uber Green, a service offering electric and hybrid vehicle rides.

It will operate in more than 30 cities this year, including Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo and Ottawa.

The service will use geofencing technology and focus on busy commuting hours and dense areas of cities to ensure the availability of Green rides.

Through the service, riders will be charged an extra $1 per ride. Half that surcharge will be given to the driver and the other half will flow to the Green Future program, which hopes to help drivers transition to EVs.

Uber will entice consumers by giving them three times the rewards points — eventually coming to Canada — for every Green trip taken.

Rewards can be used for discounts on rides or meals or donated to charities.

The company will also try to convince drivers to adopt more environmentally friendly vehicles by offering an extra 50 cents per Green ride to hybrid or EV drivers, $1 per trip for zero-emission vehicle owners and $1.50 for each Green ride for battery EV drivers.

It is committing $800 million in resources to help drivers transition to EVs by 2025 and partnering with auto companies like General Motors in the U.S. and Canada and Renault-Nissan across European cities to offer savings to those who make the switch.

Uber will also release climate assessment and performance reports detailing emissions stemming from trips on the platform in Canada and the U.S.

Its first climate report, released Tuesday, found Uber hosted 4 billion rides across the two markets from 2017 to 2019, but said that the current state of transportation is “unsustainable.”

Transportation emissions have grown faster than any other end-use sector over the last three decades and CO2 emissions from the industry account for nearly one-quarter of the global total, Uber said.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

ride hailingUber

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Premier Lake area

A prescribed ecosystem restoration burn is being planned for 12 hectares in… Continue reading

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

Local kayakers and canoers paddle Kootenay for World Rivers Day

SUBMITTED World Rivers Day — a day to appreciate and clean up… Continue reading

Aquatic Centre to remain closed

City Council decides to keep pool closed until guidelines make it feasible to reopen safely

Steelworkers Local 1-405 hosts barbecue for City of Kimberley members

The union is embarking on negotiations with the City of Kimberley for a new collective agreement

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

B.C. VOTES 2020: Wilkinson to stop 24-hour camping in city parks

Ban on ‘unsafe roadside panhandling’ to be enforced

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Most Read