TORONTO, Ont. – Yesterday, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Glen Murray, revealed highlights of the province’s climate change strategy, which aims to reduce greenhouse gases levels by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050.
As announced earlier, the province will adopt a cap and trade system to reduce GHGs. The system will directly affect major stationary GHG sources such as fuel producers. Indirectly, this will likely mean higher prices for consumers of traditional fossil fuels. Now, 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 community 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 specifics weren’t outlined, the plan goes on, saying: “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.”
The Ontario Trucking Association says a delegation of members will be meeting with the environment minister to discuss the potential for alternative fuel vehicles in the trucking industry and the action 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.”