Washington - Cross-border cooperation to improve environmental performance of the North American freight system is urgently needednot just to enhance environmental sustainability, but to safeguard regional economic competitivenessaccording to a new report from the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).
Entitled Destination Sustainability: Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Freight Transportation in North America, "This report is something of a roadmap to both sustainability and prosperity," said CEC Advisory Group Chair Bruce Agnew. "It turns out that, in the freight transportation sector, the best policies and investments for reducing freight-related greenhouse gas emissions are also some of the most effective measures for driving improvements to efficiency and competitiveness."
The Secretariat of the CECa trinational commission established as part of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)examines environmental matters arising as part of continental trade and makes occasional recommendations to the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the CEC Council of cabinet-level (or equivalent) environmental authorities.
The CEC Secretariat's latest report looks at the continental freight transportation network, a key component of the transportation sector, which is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in North America, after electricity generation. The report, which focuses on road and rail transport, finds that while emissions from light-duty vehicles are expected to drop by 12 percent by 2030, freight truck emissions are projected to increase by 20 percent. The report also considers the efficiency (and inefficiencies) in the current system, as well as considering the aggressive investments that other trade blocs are making in new infrastructure and lower-carbon transportationinvestments that may be outpacing efforts in North America.
"Reducing the environmental impact of freight transportation in the face of increasing trade and economic growth in North America requires much more than continued progress on fuel economy and transport technology," said CEC Executive Director Evan Lloyd. "This report calls on our three governments to adopt a vision of an integrated, intelligent freight transportation system for North America."
"Without such a vision, and the transformational investments that go with it, GHG emissions from freight transportation will continue to increase and the NAFTA countries will risk losing their competitive edge," Lloyd said. "But the report identifies clear opportunities, especially in light of infrastructure-related stimulus investment, to get this right."
Prepared under the guidance of an Advisory Group that included stakeholders from industry, academia, the environmental sector and government, Destination Sustainability proposes six recommendations:
|Contact: Eduardo Viadas|
Commission for Environmental Cooperation