United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development


Delivered by: Marie-Hélène Lévesque / Canada
Statement to the Nineteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable
Development ? Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting
Transport theme
Tuesday, March 1, 2011, 10:00 am
Mr/Madame Chairperson,
Since the last session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable
Development, Canada has continued to work actively with its domestic and
international partners to move people and goods with efficiency, safety, security and
with environmental responsibility.
Canada recently released its first three-year Federal Sustainable Development
Strategy, which will strengthen the way in which the Government of Canada
promotes environmental sustainability, and it makes important improvements to the
transparency and accountability of environmental decision-making.
Under this Strategy, there are 38 commitments related to the transportation sector
under the themes of Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; Maintaining Water
Quality and Availability; Protecting Nature; and additional commitments under the
theme of Shrinking the Environmental Footprint ? Beginning with Government.
Canada is also taking action on a regulatory front to curb emissions from the
transportation sector.
Domestically, Canada has published greenhouse gas emission regulations which
establish progressively more stringent fleet average GHG emissions standards for
new cars and light trucks sold in model years 2011 through 2016. The government
also announced the development of greenhouse gas emission regulations for new
on-road heavy-duty vehicles of the 2014 to 2018 model years. It is expected that
proposed regulations would be published in 2011.
Air pollutant emission regulations for the rail industry are also being developed in
alignment with the United States and it is expected that they will take effect in 2011.
In Canada, there are regulations to control air pollutant emissions from various
classes of new on- and off-road vehicles and engines.
Canada has established regulations that control sulphur levels in gasoline and in onroad
diesel fuel. There are also regulations that control the levels of sulphur in diesel
fuel used in off-road, rail and marine engines.
In addition, Canada supports renewable fuels development and has in place
regulations requiring an average renewable fuel content of five per cent in gasoline
As well, on February 10, 2011, the government announced that it would move
forward with the requirement for an average 2 percent renewable content in diesel
fuel and heating oil.
Internationally, Canada supports the development of international standards and
recommended practices within the International Maritime Organization and
International Civil Aviation Organization concerning greenhouse gas emissions and
air pollutant emissions from marine and aviation sources, respectively.
Indeed, the Government of Canada continues to work with the United States and
France to implement a designated Emission Control Area for North American coastal
areas, under the auspices of the International Maritime Organization.
In addition to reducing air emissions from the transport sector, the Government of
Canada also strives to protect the marine environment by contributing to the
reduction of water pollution from transportation sources.
Canada supports international standards and enhance domestic regulations to
prevent pollution from vessels operating in Canadian waters, including the
implementation and enforcement of international standards through inspections and
aerial surveillance.
In addition, we adopt measures to further protect the environment from the
introduction of invasive species into Canada?s water from vessels operating both
domestically and internationally, and work towards compatible approaches in Canada
and the United States to manage ballast water discharges in the Great Lakes and St.
Lawrence Seaway system.
Canada also advances the development of a national regime to prepare for and
respond to marine incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances, and work
towards establishing a liability and compensation regime.
Reliability and sustainability are cornerstones of a strong transportation system.
Canada recognizes that environmental goals and economic goals are not mutually
exclusive. A more efficient transportation system for example, not only helps reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, but also is important for the economy. There may be an
opportunity for the UNCSD process to make linkages with the ongoing international
work on Green Growth.
With respect to the suggested policy elements and actions found at the end of the
transport theme report, Canada recognizes the need to consider that many countries?
transportation systems are managed across several levels of government and that
varying challenges and opportunities exist. This being said, we suggest that less
prescriptive options would allow countries to pick and choose the most appropriate
tools depending upon their particular situation.
As noted at the 2008 International Transport Forum, approaches should be built on a
package of policy measures which include: technology development, strengthened
research into new technologies and alternative fuels, increased use of information
technology and integrated mobility management as well as a wide variety of nontechnology
policy tools.
We understand that the policy options noted in the paper are mainly characterized by
system efficiency. While important, these should be complemented by fleet and fuel
efficiency policies to ensure a broader range of options.
The overall policy options and measures identified in the transport paper are
generally lacking from a cost-benefit and/or technical perspective. Several would
require significant and costly infrastructure investment before they would be viable on
a large scale.
In summary, Canada hopes that the above considerations are taken into account in
the May deliberations.
Canada remains committed to working with our domestic partners and the
international community to address the challenges we face in working towards a
more sustainable transportation system. I look forward to today?s discussions.
Thank you.