April 12th, 2024

Airlines, shippers pitch feds on sustainability to keep up with other countries

By The Canadian Press on April 1, 2024.

Airlines and marine shippers are asking Ottawa to expand funding for transport sustainability, through both green efforts and bare-bones infrastructure upgrades. Transport trucks carry cargo containers at port in Vancouver, on Friday, July 14, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Airlines and marine shippers are asking Ottawa to beef up funding for sustainable transport that would be put toward infrastructure projects and updates to existing systems.

Ahead of the federal budget to be tabled later this month, a pair of transportation groups say incentive programs, loans and grants are essential to help companies reduce carbon emissions and merely keep pace with other countries’ transportation networks.

The National Airlines Council of Canada says investors and would-be suppliers need incentives to start churning out sustainable aviation fuel – not a drop is produced in this country currently – to match new programs in the United States that aim to cut airplane pollution.

Meanwhile, the Chamber of Marine Commerce says a green shipping corridor fund launched last year by Transport Canada needs a top-up to drive investment toward emissions reduction, via electrification of ports, for example, whose equipment runs mainly on fossil fuels.

The two industry groups, which represent some of the country’s biggest airlines, ports and shippers, also want more money for broader infrastructure improvement projects, partly to keep up with the funding tsunami unleashed south of the border by the Biden administration’s US$1.2-trillion infrastructure bill in 2021.

In Canada, the government has set a goal of 10 per cent green jet fuel use by 2030 on top of a $4.6-billion program to bolster transportation infrastructure, among other measures.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2024.

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