Transportation is one of the largest sources of air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. In 2008, transportation accounted for 27% of Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation is also linked with the emission of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, sulphur oxides, volatile organic compounds and particulate matter. These pollutants contribute to the formation of smog and poor air quality. Since 1990, pollutant emissions have fallen significantly, largely due to regulatory changes introduced by the federal government. However, more action is required to ensure this trend continues in the transportation sector.
Transport Canada's Commitments
Transport Canada's commitments under Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality are listed below. Clicking on a commitment will bring you to more detailed information.
It is important to note that the numbering of these implementation strategies comes directly from the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.
Goal 1 – Climate Change
1.1.5 Undertake and deliver scientific research and reporting in support of regulatory and other programs, including data analysis, inventory development, monitoring, modeling and assessment of the effectiveness of efforts as well as research on options, costs and benefits, and technology assessments. (EC, HC, NRCan, TC)
1.1.10 Develop regulations under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 to address greenhouse gas emissions from heavy–duty vehicles, aligned with the United States but taking into consideration the distinct nature of the Canadian fleet. The draft regulations are expected to be available for consultation in the Fall of 2010. (EC, TC)
1.1.17 Develop and/or implement new rules within Canada's domestic regulatory regime which reflect appropriate international standards and recommended practices concerning greenhouse emissions adopted by the International Maritime Organization and the International Civil Aviation Organization. (TC)
1.1.18 Continue to support a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Railway Association of Canada that ensures the rail industry continues to improve its GHG emissions performance during the period 2006–2010. (EC, TC)
1.1.19 Continue to support the MOU signed between Transport Canada and the Air Transport Association of Canada to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from aviation sources. The agreement sets an annual fuel–efficiency target that will achieve a cumulative improvement in fuel efficiency of 24% by 2012, relative to 1990 levels. (TC)
22.214.171.124 Deliver extensive outreach under the ecoTransport Strategy to build knowledge and capacity for the adoption of emission–reducing technologies and practices. The majority of ecoTransport programs will end March 31, 2011. (TC)
1.1.38 Manage research and development, develop partnerships, support and/or conduct technology development (emerging and forward–looking) to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions for surface, marine and air transportation. (TC)
1.1.44 Support the development of international principles, standards and recommended practices with the International Civil Aviation Organization aimed at a globally coherent approach to manage international aviation GHG emissions. (TC)
126.96.36.199 Work within International Civil Aviation Organization to continue to advance emissions limitations and reductions from international aviation, including the implementation of the ICAO Programme of Action on International Aviation and Climate Change, while maintaining a high level of safety. (TC, EC)
1.1.52 Work within the International Maritime Organization toward the development of international standards and recommended practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from marine shipping, while maintaining a high level of safety. (TC)
Goal 2: Air Pollution
2.1.2 Undertake scientific research and reporting in support of regulatory and other programs delivered, including data analysis, inventory development, monitoring, modeling and assessment of the effectiveness of efforts as well as research on options, costs and benefits including economic and social and technology assessments. (EC, NRCan, HC, TC)
2.1.12 Develop emission regulations for Criteria Air Contaminants (CAC) for the rail sector under the Railway Safety Act to take effect in 2011, aligned with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency emissions standards. (TC)
2.1.15 Continue to support a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Railway Association of Canada that ensures the rail industry continues to improve emission performance during the 2006–2010 period. (EC, TC)
188.8.131.52 Deliver extensive outreach under the ecoTransport Strategy to build knowledge and capacity for the adoption of emission–reducing technologies and practices. The majority of ecoTransport programs will end March 31, 2011. (TC)
184.108.40.206 Support the development of standards and recommended practices within the Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) of the International Civil Aviation Organization concerning air pollutant emissions from aviation sources. (TC)