Premier Kathleen Wynne and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray released highlights yesterday of the province’s climate change strategy, which targets a reduction greenhouse gases (GHG) levels by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The province says it is necessary to make these changes in order to assist in meeting the United Nations’ mandate of slowing the pace of rising worldwide temperatures.
As previously announced, the primary policy mechanism the province will adopt for reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) will be a cap and trade system which will directly affect major stationary GHG sources such as fuel producers. Indirectly, this will likely mean higher prices for consumers of traditional fossil fuels. However, according to yesterday’s announcement, the province is also planning to reinvest the proceeds from the cap and trade system into projects and technologies that will help consumers and businesses transition to a lower carbon economy.
Of particular interest to the trucking industry is the statement that Ontario’s “strategy will focus on measures that support the use of natural gas and low carbon fuels in goods movement, and the electrification of goods movement where possible.”
Although details weren’t provided, the plan goes on to state: “short-term reductions will occur by reducing carbon intensity of transportation fuels sold in Ontario. Low–carbon fuels will also allow modes of transportation like long and heavy haul trucking and marine transport that are not easily electrified to be part of Ontario’s sustainable transportation future.”
An OTA delegation of members will be meeting with the environment minister this afternoon for preliminary discussions on the potential for alternative fuel vehicles in the trucking industry and the actions needed to accelerate the penetration of these vehicles into the marketplace.
“The trucking industry recognizes that it’s being called upon to do its part to reduce its carbon footprint,” says OTA president David Bradley. “Trucking is the only freight mode whose vehicles are subject to regulated GHG standards, but there is more that could be done to improve the economic equation and to reduce some of the practical and operational barriers that impede investment in GHG reduction technologies.”