Efforts to lower air emissions from marine vessels in Canadian waters laudable

Ship_pumping_ballast_water[1]It’s always heartening to learn when new measures are being implemented to reduce emissions. Such is the case with amendments in Canada to cut air pollution levels from vessels navigating Canadian waters. This is on top of other air-emissions-reduction actions already taken.

“The amendments bring new requirements into force for vessels under Annex VI of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) that Canada has negotiated with international partners,” Transport Canada explained in a May 8, 2013 news release.

Included among the new standards for environmental protection in Canada are: a reduction in ships allowable emissions of key air pollutants like sulfur oxides (SOx) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) which will be reduced by 96 percent and 80 percent, respectively; new energy efficiency standards in effect by 2025 will require that new vessels be 30 percent more energy efficient while “all vessels must have energy efficiency plans;” and “marine diesel engines installed after January 1, 2016” will be required “to be certified to recognized US or international environmental standards.” Seven areas in all are covered under the new Canadian standards.

Among stakeholders engaged by Transport Canada, according to information in the release, were the United States Coast Guard and United States Environmental Protection Agency.

Other important Government of Canada measures to lower that country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels include:

  • “Our actions include implementing regulations to reduce GHGs from coal-fired electricity plants, which will reduce GHGs by 214 megatonnes over the period 2015–2035. Canada is the only nation with regulations banning the construction of new coal-fired power plants that use traditional technology. As well, we now require all existing plants to shut down on a schedule, making Canada the first country in the world to do so.
  • We are implementing regulations to improve fuel efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. With these tough new measures, GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 per cent.
  • The government is consulting on regulations for cars and light trucks for model years 2017 to 2025. Our action to date will see GHGs from cars and light trucks fall by up to 50% by 2025 compared to 2008 models.
  • We are implementing regulations requiring 5% renewable fuel in gasoline.”

(Source: “Canada continues to align air emissions measures with the United States,” Transport Canada press release, Transport Canada, May 8, 2013).

That this kind of work is taking place is commendable.

Published by Alan Kandel