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ECCC Report Highlights Strong Performance of Emissions Regulations, Need to Focus on Proven Emissions Reduction Strategies

The trucking industry strives to control operational costs as much as possible in a highly regulated and competitive sector while still being committed to reducing emissions and protecting our environment, the Canadian Trucking Alliance tells government.

A recent report published by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) on the performance of heavy-duty greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions regulations, provides evidence of our industry’s commitment to the environment while working with the Government of Canada regarding future policy directions around reducing emissions from heavy trucks.

The ECCC report presents aggregate results pertaining to data collected for model years 2014 to 2018 based on information submitted to ECCC by regulated companies. Based on this report, the Canadian heavy-duty vehicle fleet outperforms the applicable standard for almost all model years, with emissions decreasing 3.7% for Class 2B to 5 vocational vehicles; 4.7% for Class 6 and 7 vehicles; and 12.4% for Class 8 vehicles during this timeframe.

“The Alliance believes these findings highlight our sector’s commitment to conserving fuel while serving as a reminder of how the Government of Canada and our industry have worked together collaboratively to successfully introduce practical regulations through an incremental and measured policy approach to produce significant environmental dividends,” says CTA’s Lak Shoan. “The philosophy of implementing regulations that are technologically and operationally realistic must be maintained on the eve of new proposed GHG heavy truck regulations expected to be released later this year.”

The Alliance also believes the Government of Canada’s incentives for carbon-reduction technologies which have helped fleets achieve the environmental benchmarks cited in the ECCC report, need to be expanded.

“CTA will be highlighting the need for expanded support of current decarbonization efforts through programs such as the Green Freight Program managed by Natural Resources Canada, in its 2024 Pre-budget submission. This program provides significant rebates towards the purchase of aerodynamic devices and other emissions reductions technologies that can reduce fuel consumption for fleets today,” said Shoan.

CTA also believes the ECCC report also highlights the ineffectiveness of the carbon tax policy in deriving emissions reductions or any meaningful changes in behaviour in the trucking industry.

“Many of the environmental achievements cited in the report were generated by industry before the introduction of the carbon tax in 2018. This only reaffirms what CTA has been saying for years – that the carbon tax offers no additional incentive for fleets to further reduce their carbon footprint, as they are already doing everything possible with the technology that is currently feasible and available,” said Shoan.

“The ECCC report validates CTA’s position that our industry is already highly motivated to reduce its carbon output and that the only thing the carbon tax does for the trucking sector is raise our costs. In the absence of any policy rationale to keep this regulation in place, it’s time the carbon tax is removed from diesel fuel.”


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