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Saturday, March 25, 2023

U.S. and Canada Commit to Fight Climate Change and Limit the Environmental Impacts from Transportation

Recognizing the transport sector constitutes one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions for both nations, and in light of the integrated nature of their transportation sectors, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Canada’s Minister of Transport Omar Alghabra have committed to reinvigorate bilateral cooperation to fight climate change and limit the environmental impacts from transportation networks—on land, air and sea. 

In support of the Roadmap for a Renewed U.S.-Canada Partnership, announced by President Biden and Prime Minister Trudeau and the bilateral Memorandum of Cooperation on “Transport Matters of Mutual Interest,” signed in 2016, the countries will work together to accelerate policy actions that help transportation sectors grapple effectively with the climate challenge. 

A healthy environment and economy support the goals of both countries to ‘build back better’ from the COVID-19 pandemic, and leverage actions at the state, provincial, territorial and local levels.

On roads, together with other federal departments and agencies, the U.S. and Canada aim toward a zero-emission vehicle future through ambitious vehicle standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases from light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.  They will work together to help accelerate the achievement of 100% zero-emission vehicle sales for light-duty vehicles and increase the supply of and demand for zero-emission medium- and heavy-duty vehicles. 

The parties plan to explore best practices on how to help incentivize the installation of electric charging stations, and refuelling stations for clean fuels, including through the ongoing coordination of electric and alternative fuel corridors and the alignment of technical codes, standards and regulations, to enable the seamless transportation of people and goods.  They also plan to work collaboratively on new innovative solutions to decrease emissions and to advance the use of cleaner fuels in rail transportation.

On aviation, the U.S. and Canada are committed to working together on a shared vision toward reducing the sector’s emissions in a manner consistent with the goal of net zero emissions for their economies by 2050, and on robust standards that integrate climate protection and safety.  They intend to advance the development and deployment of high integrity sustainable aviation fuels and other clean technologies that meet rigorous international standards, building on existing partnerships, such as through ASCENT– the Aviation Sustainability Center – and pursue policies to increase the supply and demand of sustainable aviation fuels.  

Both countries will partner in key international forums, including the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO). In ICAO, they will engage in processes to advance a new long-term aspirational goal in line with the vision for decarbonizing the aviation sector, and continue to participate in the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). At the IMO, to reduce emissions from ships, the U.S. and Canada plan to work towards achieving the ambition reflected in the Initial IMO Strategy on reduction of GHG emissions to halve emissions from ships by 2050 compared to 2008 levels. 

They will also continue to support the development of green transport infrastructure along the border, including in the management of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway for maritime navigation. They will work to advance cleaner, sustainable and renewable fuels for shipping. This will include working with the IMO to effectively implement the ban on the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil (HFO) as fuel in the Arctic. In this regard, the countries will also explore how best to address and support the transportation infrastructure needs of Arctic and Northern communities, such as safety, climate change, and fostering socio-economic opportunities.

This new focus on climate will reinforce U.S.-Canada cooperation across all modes of transportation to ensure safe, secure, and efficient transportation networks of today, while preparing for the innovations of tomorrow, and recovering our economies in a way that promotes employment, sustainability and equity. 

Read the statement at the Department of Transportation

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The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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