A- A+


Update for: August, 2001






ATCO Gas eMission Banff Project:

Spearheaded by ATCO Gas, eMission Banff involves tour companies, Climate Change Central (CCC) and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and is intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from vehicles operating in Banff National Park. The program will initially result in the conversion of more than 60 commercial vehicles ? mainly large passenger vans and shuttle buses ? to run on natural gas, which will reduce GHG emissions by about 25%.

As part of the program, the Town of Banff intends to convert its public transit buses from diesel to natural gas, and ATCO will build a new fueling facility in Banff. CCC will contribute $85,000, providing grants of $2,000 to tour companies ordering natural gas powered vehicles and $1,000 to companies retrofitting existing vans and buses. CCC?s funding complements funding from NRCan?s existing Natural Gas Vehicle program.



Federal Government Announces Initiatives to Reduce Vehicle Emissions:

The federal government announced that it will invest $109 million in initiatives focussed on urban transportation, fuel-cell technology, increasing fuel efficiency and marketing low emission vehicles. A key component of the initiative is to fund research into fuel-efficient vehicles. Funding will be provided for research into hydrogen fuel cells and education programs and vehicle testing aimed at increasing fuel efficiency of cars already on the road. Also, about $30 million will be spent over the next five years on "intelligent transportation systems" (ITS), such as electronic billboards and other traffic management measures designed to reduce traffic gridlock. An Urban Transportation Showcase competition will be held. Four cities will be selected to showcase their strategies, which should include land use planning, public outreach and technology applications, for reducing GHG emissions from transportation sources.

Additionally, the federal government has indicated it will be negotiating with the U.S. government and the automobile industry with the objective to formulate new, stricter regulations for vehicle emissions by 2004.

Federal Government Announces Plan to Reduce its GHG Emissions:

The federal government announced a $44.2 million plan to reduce its GHG emissions to 31% below the 1990 level by 2010. The plan includes the intent to purchase 20% of government electricity requirements from renewable sources, such as wind and small hydro plant generated power. Other initiatives under the plan include increased use of alternative fuels for the federal government?s vehicle fleet and energy efficiency retrofits of government buildings and facilities.



COP 6 Part II Negotiations Conclude:

Part II of the Sixth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework on Climate Change (COP 6) was held from July 17-27, 2001, in Bonn, Germany. The objective of the conference was to finalize a rulebook for implementing the Kyoto Protocol.

Significant progress was made in Bonn, with the Government of Canada supporting the amended document. However, the federal government has indicated that it will not consider official ratification of the agreement until an extensive round of consultation is carried out with Canada?s provincial and territorial governments.

One of the key changes to the Protocol, from the Government of Canada?s perspective, was the inclusion of carbon sinks as a GHG reduction mechanism. The recognition of carbon sinks was a significant concession by the European Union (EU) nations and a major victory for Canadian negotiators. Eligible carbon sinks include revegetation projects and management of forests, croplands and grazing lands. Individual nations? quotas were established that will account for a proportion of emission reductions counted to each nation?s Kyoto target. It is believed that carbon sinks may take Canada as far as 15% to 25% toward its Kyoto goal of a 6% reduction in 1990 GHG emissions by 2012.

Another significant achievement of the Bonn talks was progress on the issue of establishing an international GHG emission trading system, which will create a market-based incentive to reduce emissions. It is anticipated that an international emission trading market will permit many industrialized nations to ease the cost of attaining their Kyoto emission reduction targets, while still achieving the same overall world-wide reduction goal.

Progress was also made on the development of an emission compliance mechanism, which will be overseen by a Compliance Committee with a facilitative branch and an enforcement branch. The agreement states that for every tonne of greenhouse gases a nation emits over its target, it will be required to reduce an additional 1.3 tonnes during the Protocol?s second commitment period, which starts in 2013.

An outstanding issue that has yet to be resolved is the receipt of carbon credits for the export of "clean" energy, which in the Alberta context applies to the export of natural gas to the U.S.

The establishment of the institutional framework, so the Protocol can become operational upon ratification by signatory nations, will be undertaken at the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 7), which is scheduled for October 29-November 9, 2001 in Marrakech, Morocco. The Protocol can only come into force if 55% of developed nations, emitting at least 55% of GHG emissions, ratify the text. In the absence of the U.S., the Protocol requires ratification by Russia, the EU and Japan if it is to realistically come into force.



City of Toronto Purchases Fleet of Natural Gas Powered Vehicles:

The City of Toronto recently purchased 94 natural gas vehicles (NGVs) to replace an equal number of older vehicles due for retirement. Enbridge Consumers Gas and Ford Motor Company financially assisted the purchase. Enbridge provided a rebate of $500 per vehicle and Ford will provide a rebate of $2,000 per vehicle. Additionally the City of Toronto is taking advantage of the Government of Canada?s "Natural Gas Vehicle Contribution Program", which provides a financial incentive of $2,000 per factory built dedicated NGV, please refer to NRCan?s website for more information on this program: http://www.oee.nrcan.gc.ca/english/programs/index.cfm


Prepared by Alberta Transportation and Alberta Environment          

This information is available on the Alberta Transportation web-site

Peter Dzikowski
Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Issues
Phone:780 415-0682