OTTAWA, Sept. 16, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport and Michael Bourque, President and CEO of the Railway Association of Canada (RAC), today announced a renewal of the voluntary agreement that will help reduce air pollutants and the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from locomotives that operate in Canada.
"The Government of Canada is taking action to help reduce air emissions that harm our health and the environment," said Minister Raitt. "This agreement will help to limit emissions from rail sources and is another fine example of partnership and collaboration between our Government and the rail industry."
In 2010, the rail sector transported about 71 per cent of total Canadian surface freight and accounted for approximately four per cent of total Canadian transportation greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, intercity passenger and commuter railways moved approximately 73 million people across Canada and within our major urban centres.
"Canada's railway sector is reducing emissions while moving more people and goods than ever before," said Mr. Bourque. "Our Memorandum of Understanding with the Minister of Transport is a proven tool for continuously improving our performance. I want to thank Minister Raitt for her commitment to reducing emissions and for this collaborative approach to environmental improvement."
The renewed Memorandum of Understanding encourages all RAC members, including freight, intercity passenger, shortline and commuter railway companies in Canada to continue to voluntarily reduce locomotive emissions. The agreement includes measures, targets and actions that will further reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from rail operations and includes a commitment to continue to monitor criteria air contaminants. The agreement will also benefit the rail industry through fuel cost savings that will contribute to the competitiveness of Canada's rail companies.
This agreement provides a framework for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and will contribute to Canada's broader effort to address climate change.
The extension of this agreement builds on the success of the 2006-2010 Memorandum between the RAC, Transport Canada and Environment Canada. Progress towards meeting the targets, reducing emissions and advancing initiatives are reported annually in the Locomotive Emissions Monitoring Program report.
To view the 2011-2015 Memorandum of Understanding, please visit Transport Canada's website at www.tc.gc.ca/locomotive-emissions-locomotives.
About the Railway Association of Canada
The Railway Association of Canada represents some 50 goods, tourist, commuter and intercity rail businesses in Canada, their more than 32,000 employees and over 50 associate member suppliers. RAC acts to inform officials, develop programs, policies and resources and respectfully communicate with the public and media to strengthen the role and capacity of Rail to deliver leading services that are economically viable, socially cohesive, future focused and environmentally sustainable. For more information about RAC, please visit: http://railcan.ca/
SOURCE: Transport Canada
For further information:
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Honourable Lisa Raitt
Minister of Transport
Railway Association of Canada
Transport Canada, Ottawa
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons living with visual disabilities.