Adam ThornProgram Director, Transportation

Portrait of Adam Thorn

Adam Thorn is the director of the Pembina Institute's transportation program and is based in Toronto. He has been an assistant professor with the University of Toronto and Toronto Metropolitan University since 2014, teaching public policy specializing in environmental policy. He has a deep understanding of how climate change impacts water governance, municipal infrastructure, and land use planning. In the past, Adam has collaborated in complex projects to advance clean water policy in municipalities in Ontario and in the Great Lakes, including working with the International Joint Commission. Adam holds a doctorate from Toronto Metropolitan University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Western University.

Contact Adam Thorn

cell: 416-859-4108 • email: • tweet: @Adthorn

Adam Thorn's Recent Publications

Cover of British Columbia’s Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero- Emission Vehicles

British Columbia’s Medium- and Heavy-Duty Zero- Emission Vehicles 2023 Consultation Paper Pembina Institute comments and recommendations

Publication Aug. 8, 2023- By Chandan Bhardwaj, Sarah McBain, Adam Thorn
The Pembina Institute supports the B.C. government’s intent to legislate requirements that will advance the electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. However, the key features of the proposed policy do not make sufficient allowance for the variability in market readiness to transition to zero-emission among trucks and buses, nor does it adequately address the need for more charging and refuelling infrastructure.
Electric car plugged into charger next to empty parking space

Why ditching gas cars for electric ones hinges on Canada’s EV sales standard As the federal government finalizes regulations to speed up electric-car production, it would be sheer folly to get this piece of climate policy wrong

Op-ed July 17, 2023- By Adam Thorn
The federal government is in the last stages of finalizing regulations designed to speed up the electrification of cars, which will all but eliminate tailpipe pollution. It would be sheer folly to get this piece of climate policy wrong. Under the new regulations, automakers must produce an increasing number of electric passenger vehicles over the next few years until they reach a point where all the cars made are electric.
Electric transit bus in Edmonton

Why Canada needs to put the pedal to the metal on the greening of trucks and buses A single long-haul truck emits 17 times as much emission than a passenger car - which is why we need to focus on highway’s big dogs to win the high-carbon fight

Op-ed May 15, 2023- By Adam Thorn
The opportunity to transition away from fossil fuels is there for the taking, including in the critically important, yet sometimes overlooked, medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus sector of the transportation industry. The problem is that Canada doesn’t have a plan for how this transition will occur. Specifically, there is no federal strategy guiding the shift from diesel-fueled commercial vehicles to zero-emission ones within the government’s stated timelines.
Cover of Municipal Role in Transportation with transit bus and buildings

The Municipal Role In Transportation

Publication April 27, 2023- By Carolyn Kim, Chandan Bhardwaj, Adam Thorn, others
With the right policies and support from higher orders of government, municipalities can make their transportation networks more efficient and reduce emissions. This report builds on literature to examine the current role of Canadian municipalities in transportation and how higher levels of government can support them. The findings and recommendations of this report will help inform future decision-making and policy-making related to transportation across all orders of government in Canada.
Cover for LDV sales mandate submission

Recommendations for a national sales mandate for zero-emission light-duty vehicles Submission to Environment and Climate Change Canada

Publication March 22, 2023- By Adam Thorn, Sarah McBain
Unless the federal government enacts climate policies intended to speed up the transition from fossil fuels to electricity in the transportation sector, Canada cannot achieve its climate commitments. These four recommendations will help jumpstart the switch from gas to electric passenger cars with minimal economic disruption.


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