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On February 25, 2013, the Federal Government followed the US and announced the final efficiency and emission standards for new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. The regulations are intended to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and to match American requirements.

The Regulations will establish progressively more stringent standards for 2014 to 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles such as full-size pick-ups, semi-trucks, garbage trucks and buses. The Regulations will remain in full effect for all subsequent model-year vehicles, which will be required to adhere to the 2018 standard, and will result in GHG reductions of 19.1 megatonnes over the lifetime of the 2014-2018 model-year vehicles.

According to the Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, Canada’s transportation sector accounted for 28% of our national emissions in 2010. “Within the sector, heavy-duty vehicles account for nearly 24% of GHG emissions, or approximately 7% of total emissions in Canada. Heavy-duty vehicle emissions rose by nearly 3 megatonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from 2005 to 2010.” The government estimates that the regulations will “result in a reduction of approximately 19.1 Mt of CO2e in GHG emissions over the lifetime operation of vehicles produced in the model years 2014–2018 cohort.”

As the Pembina Institute points out, this reduction is already included in the federal government’s emissions projections – found in Canada’s Emissions Trends 2012  – and we are still far short of our GHG reduction target.

Under the Copenhagen Accord, signed in December 2009, Canada committed to reduce its GHG emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 – a target of 607 Megatonnes. The federal government estimates that the GHG reduction measures currently in place will only reduce emissions to 720 Megatonnes by 2020.

With just 7 years left until 2020, we are still over 100 Megatonnes above of our GHG emissions reduction target.

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