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Energy and Environment
Energy and the Environment - Policy, Taxation & Regulatory Framework

Gateway industries are keenly aware of the need to cut energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. More efficient infrastructure, expanded public transit, a more energy efficient vehicle fleet and a shift to cleaner / greener fuels will cut fuel consumption and emissions. We can also make better use of our waterways (short sea shipping) and rail-lines for internal Gateway cargo movement. This would also help cut emissions and reduce:

 - road congestion
 - road maintenance costs
 - road accidents
 - noise

Cutting Fuel Consumption

Gateway industries are implementing an impressive array of emissions reduction projects to reduce engine fuel consumption for ships, trains, trucks and airplanes in the Gateway. For examples; engine idling time reduction programs, improved container truck reservation systems, the use of shore power for ships at berth so their diesel engines can be shut down, and supply chain optimization to reduce overall fuel use. Together these measures are already making significant cuts to Gateway emissions.

New Technology Adoption

There is a wide range of new technologies available to reduce fuel consumption and cut emissions, including: new clean diesel technologies, engine idling time reduction, hybrid vehicles and alternate fuels like bio-diesel and ethanol. However, deployment of these technologies in the near term requires favourable tax treatment and new partnerships among Gateway industries, governments and technology developers.

Partnerships - The Way Forward

Major investments are needed in efficient infrastructure, and greener / cleaner plant and equipment. However, the public benefits of such investments (e.g. reduced emissions) cannot be internalized by Gateway industries. Approaches to force mandatory compliance to arbitrary standards do nothing to alter this. New policies are needed. Shifting from “end-of-pipe” solutions to partnerships for a cleaner, greener Gateway, would accelerate the adoption of new technologies and the installation of needed infrastructure to realize the environmental benefits.

The International Dimension

It is important to remember that a majority of the ships and planes that call here are subject to international competition and regulations. Participation in international efforts to cut emissions is therefore an important part of the Gateway’s efforts to do its part to address climate change. For example the Port of Vancouver is part of a bi-national West Coast seaports initiative to reduce emissions.

Environmental Regulation

Development of new Gateway facilities essential for the Region and Canada can be accomplished with minimum environmental impact and with longer term benefits. However, the current approach of environmental regulatory and permitting bodies must be changed to a partnership role that considers social and economic consequences of delaying and / or not proceeding with new developments on the same basis as the short term environmental impacts of proceeding.