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Rail News: Sustainability

RAC, Transport Canada agree to cut locomotive emissions

"We are proud of our members' deep commitment to reducing emissions and managing their environmental footprint," said RAC President and CEO Marc Brazeau.
Photo – RAC


The Railway Association of Canada (RAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Transport Canada to establish voluntary reduction targets for locomotive-produced emissions.

The MOU is the fourth such agreement between the RAC and Canadian government since 1995, according to an RAC press release.

"The rail industry moves nearly 70 percent of the country's intercity freight and 84 million passenger-trips each year, yet it produces less than 4 percent of Canada's transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions," said RAC President and Chief Executive Officer Marc Brazeau. "We are proud of our members' deep commitment to reducing emissions and managing their environmental footprint."

The MOU calls for RAC members and Transport Canada to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHGs) and report on criteria air contaminants emitted by Canadian railroad locomotives. Class Is and intercity passenger railroads have committed to a 6 percent reduction; short line and regionals, a 3 percent reduction.

Intensity-based emission reductions will be measured against a 2017 baseline and over a period ending Dec. 31, 2022. RAC's commuter railroad members will continue to report on their performance under the MOU, RAC officials said.

RAC will publish an annual report on the industry's progress in reducing GHGs.

The latest MOU supports the Canadian government's commitments under the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change, and its vision for green and innovative transportation as outlined in Transportation 2030, RAC officials said.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced this week a second call for proposals to develop innovative, “clean” technologies to improve the environmental performance of Canada’s rail system.

Over the next three years, Transport Canada will fund $1.5 million worth of ideas to advance knowledge and technology innovation that contributes to reducing emissions, according to a Transport Canada press release.

The funds will be granted through the Clean Transportation System Research and Development program.

Proposals are due May 8.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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