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Update for: November, 2003





Car Heaven Alberta:

Climate Change Central and the Clean Air Foundation launched the Car Heaven Alberta Program on October 15, 2003. The program will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution levels by allowing people to turn in cars manufactured in 1988 or earlier that have been insured for the past 12 months and are roadworthy and driveable. In return, the former owners are eligible for incentives such as six-month transit passes, credit toward the purchase of a new bicycle, and prize draws. Cars that are not driveable or have not been insured for the past 12 months are still eligible for a $50 donation receipt from the Kidney Foundation ? Alberta Chapter.

The Car Heaven program intends to remove as many as 1500 older vehicles from the streets of Calgary and Edmonton in the first year of the program. The program will run for three years, and may be expanded to other communities as funding allows. In 2002, a pilot vehicle scrappage program was held in Calgary that removed over 500 older vehicles from the streets. The older vehicles that the program targets emit up to 30 times the amount of pollutants, and use ten percent more fuel, than new cars.

If you would like more information about this program, please see:

or call 1-888-441-CARS

Alberta Reduce Idling Campaign:

On September 15, Climate Change Central, Natural Resources Canada, and the Sierra Club of Canada ? Prairie Chapter began a month long campaign to reduce vehicle idling in Alberta. The goal of the campaign was to encourage motorists to turn off their vehicles whenever they were stopped for more than ten seconds, except when in traffic. Events at schools and gas stations, as well as public awareness advertising, promoted the campaign. To complement the provincial campaign, the cities of Edmonton and Calgary, the Calgary Health Region, Alberta Environment, and Alberta Transportation undertook their own initiatives to reduce idling.

The average car produces about 2.4 kilograms of CO2 for every litre of gasoline consumed. If all Albertans idled their cars for five minutes less each day, drivers would save 125 million litres of fuel, and emit 302,000 tonnes less of CO2, per year. Reducing idling time will also help improve air quality from particulate matter and air pollutants. Idling for more than ten seconds uses more fuel than stopping and re-starting the engine, and modern engines warm up faster by driving than idling. Engines combust fuel most completely and efficiently, and emit fewer emissions, at normal operating temperatures and speeds that are only reached while driving. Fuel residues left from incomplete combustion may damage engines, and lead to water condensation that can damage a vehicle?s exhaust system. Additionally, catalytic converters, which clean pollution from a car?s exhaust, reach their most effective operating temperatures quicker if the vehicle is being driven.

If you would like more information about this program, please see:




Details of $1 Billion Investment toward Implementation of the Climate Change Plan for Canada:

On August 12, 2003, the Government of Canada announced the details of a $1 billion investment towards the implementation of the Climate Change Plan for Canada. This investment is part of the 2003 Budget allocation. The funding will be divided among three groups: individual Canadians; industry and business; and governments and communities. For transportation, the investment will provide:

  • $5.5 million to the Marketing Efficient Vehicles Initiative to help Canadians make environmentally friendly transportation choices when buying new vehicles, and $1.5 million for the Labelling of Off-Road Vehicles program;
  • $100 million over three years to assist Canada?s ethanol production capacity, and to assist the development of Canada?s cellulose-based ethanol industry;
  • $32.3 million for the commercial Transportation Energy Efficiency and Fuels Initiative to expand the use of existing efficiency-enhancing technologies;
  • $11.9 million for biodiesel research and demonstration projects;
  • $9.9 million to reduce the cost of natural gas vehicles;
  • $80 million for hydrogen fuel cell and hydrogen production research;
  • $40 million for research into new energy-saving technologies in the transportation, industrial, commercial, and community sectors; and
  • $30 million for research into biofuels.

These funds will be complemented by funding in the 2003 Budget from Sustainable Development Technology Canada ($250 million) and the Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences ($50 million).

If you would like more information about these federal expenditures, please see:


Ethanol Expansion Program Launched:

The Government of Canada launched the Ethanol Expansion Program on October 20, 2003 to expand Canada?s ethanol production capacity and use. The program will provide $100 million over three years toward the construction of a number of ethanol plants, with $60 million being available the first year. The funding will help meet the Climate Change Plan for Canada?s goal of having at least 35 percent of Canada?s gasoline contain ten percent ethanol by 2010. To support the Ethanol Expansion Program, the Government of Canada will work in partnership with several gasoline retailers to promote the benefits of ethanol-blended gasoline to Canadian drivers. To receive funding, interested companies are requested to submit proposals for funding, which will be selected according to how effective the proposals are in expanding ethanol production and use, and reducing greenhouse gases.

Greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles can be reduced, particularly in the case of cellulose-based ethanol, when compared to regular gasoline on a lifecycle basis. Meeting the Climate Change Plan for Canada?s goal for ethanol-blended gasoline will attempt to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 megatonnes per year.

If you would like more information about this program, please see:



Russia?s Intentions regarding Ratifying Kyoto Protocol Remain Unclear:

Russia remains unclear as to its intentions to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Comments made by Russian President Vladimir Putin?s scientific and economic advisors at the World Climate Change Conference seemed to indicate that Russia was opposed to the Kyoto Protocol. The Kyoto Protocol?s researchers forecast that Russia?s greenhouse gas emissions would be twenty percent below 1990 levels in 2008, which would give Russia carbon credits to sell, adding billions of dollars to its economy. However, Alexander Nakhutin, Russia?s chief greenhouse gas forecaster, has released a study indicating that Russia?s greenhouse gas emissions will be six percent above 1990 levels by the time the Kyoto Protocol is implemented in 2008 due to Russia?s rapid economic expansion. This would eliminate Russia?s forecasted carbon credits. Russia is currently undertaking a full-scale carbon emissions inventory, after which they will make a decision regarding the Kyoto Protocol. Elections are being held in Russia in December 2003 and March 2004, and ratification of an international treaty could take seven or eight months after a government decision.

Without Russia?s ratification, the Kyoto Protocol will not reach the required level of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions, and cannot come into effect. The Protocol requires 55 nations representing 55 percent of global CO2 emissions to ratify the Protocol. Currently, 119 nations, representing 44 percent of CO2 emissions have ratified the treaty, and Russia would bring another 17.4 percent to the Protocol.



Peter Dzikowski
Senior Policy Advisor, Environmental Issues