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Transport fuels sector releases plan to help Canada meet its 2050 net-zero emissions goal

Today the government is set to introduce a bill laying out its plans to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the Canadian Fuels Association (CFA) — which represents Canada’s transportation fuels industry, including Irving Oil, Imperial Oil Limited, Shell Canada, and Suncor Energy — has launched a plan of its own. Driving to 2050 looks how the industry could work with the government to meet its net-zero emissions goal. According to government data, the transportation sector was responsible for 25 per cent of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018 — the second largest source in the country.

With more vehicles on the road between between 1990 and 2018, emissions from the transportation sector grew by 53 per cent, with emissions from light trucks doubling while those from cars declined by 17 per cent. Driving to 2050 offers a 30-year roadmap that breaks down the transport sector into five categories; light duty vehicles, heavy duty vehicles and transport trucks, aviation, marine and rail, using a variety of energy sources to operate. The report calls for a continued shift of light duty vehicles toward electricity.

As iPolitics reported on Monday, Quebec plans to stop selling new gasoline-powered vehicles in the province in 2035. Heavy-duty vehicles, including transport trucks, would begin to operate using hydrogen fuel cells and natural gas, particularly in liquefied form for long haul routes, while the aviation, marine and rail sectors would use a combination of synthetic fuels, electricity, low-carbon liquids, and hydrogen fuel cells, with the powering source to be determined by the weight and route of the transporting vehicle. During a videoconference panel discussion on sustainable finance and the transition to a low-carbon economy on Tuesday, the Governor of the Bank of Canada Tiff Macklem discussed the impact climate change will have on the Canadian economy.

“We need to position Canada to seize the climate-smart opportunities that consumers, workers and investors are looking for. But to mitigate the threat and capitalize on the opportunity, we all need to mobilize,” Macklem said. “And we need to do it quickly.”

Canadian Fuels Association CEO Bob Laroque admits the sector was a bit slow in putting forward a plan to reach zero net emissions, which he says was because they needed to understand the importance of the goal, the time frames being discussed and, perhaps most crucially, how the transportation industry can adapt.

“We are committed to investments and reductions to GHG throughtout the supply chain, and to making sure we are not compromising the ability for Canadians and goods to be moved, ” Larocque said.

The CFA has shared its plan with the government and they are committed to being part of the solution as the government puts forward its net-zero legislation.

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