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Railways continue to reduce emissions in Canada: RAC


Ottawa, ON — Canada’s railways are on pace to meet greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets set out by the rail sector and the federal government, according to the latest Locomotive Emissions Monitoring (LEM) Program report released by the Railway Association of Canada (RAC). The LEM report summarizes the progress that railways have made towards reducing GHGs and criteria air contaminants (CAC) from locomotives operating in Canada, and highlights the initiatives that the industry has taken in reaching its goals in this area.

“The main takeaway from this report is that railway-generated GHG emissions have not increased significantly relative to traffic growth,” said RAC Acting President Gérald Gauthier. “By investing in modern locomotives and innovative technologies that improve fuel efficiency, our railways are committed to doing their part in the fight against climate change.”

Canada’s freight railways have reduced their GHG emissions intensity – the rail sector’s carbon footprint relative to its traffic – by 41.7 per cent since 1990, even with traffic increasing by 76.8 per cent during the same period. Since 2010, Canada’s Class 1 freight railways have reduced their GHG emissions intensity every year and have exceeded their reduction target in three consecutive years. Regional and short line railways have surpassed their target in three of the five reporting years. In the passenger rail sector, intercity operators have exceeded their target in four consecutive years.

“I applaud the railways’ commitment to protecting our air quality and supporting the Government of Canada’s transition to a greener transportation sector,” said Transport Minister Marc Garneau. “By taking concrete actions to reach emissions reduction targets, Canada’s railways are also demonstrating their desire in being part of the climate change solution.”

This is the fifth report released under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between RAC and Transport Canada, which encourages RAC’s Class 1 freight, short line and intercity passenger railway members to voluntarily reduce their emissions intensity.