Learning from assessments of Canada’s Renewable Fuels Strategy as a prerequisite to developing a Clean Fuel Standard

Petition: 397

Issue(s): Climate change, environmental assessment, other, transport

Petitioner(s): Canadian organization

Petitioner Location(s): Ottawa, Ontario

Date Received: 23 February 2017

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition is concerned with the research and reporting carried out by the federal government in accordance with the Renewable Fuels Strategy. The petition is also concerned with findings on the promotion, implementation, and assessment of this strategy. The petition suggests that all stakeholders carefully study these findings with a view to providing a scientific foundation on which the new Clean Fuel Standard will be built. (On 25 November 2016, the federal government announced its intent to develop a Clean Fuel Standard to lower the carbon footprint of fuels used in transportation, buildings, and industry.)

The petition specifically asks about environmental baseline data used to establish the Renewable Fuels Strategy. It also asks for information on the environmental impact data from facilities funded through the strategy’s program elements and for additional details on the criteria used to assess these impacts. The petition requests more substantive environmental data and a copy of the report on information gathered to support the implementation of the strategy. The petition also asks for information on the environmental consequences of the Renewable Fuels Strategy and associated program elements, and how this data supports the responsible development of the Clean Fuel Standard’s biofuel component.

The petition then asks a series of questions about the environmental criteria used to identify and differentiate among the various types of non‑biofuel alternative fuels targeted by the Clean Fuel Standard and how this information will be assessed. The petition also asks for current data on the “viability, costs, environmental performance and infrastructure requirements” associated with various categories of renewable fuels.

Finally, the petition expresses concern about the use of the GHGenius life-cycle assessment tool, and whether it will be used to verify results under the Clean Fuel Standard and whether other greenhouse gas measurement tools have been considered for use under this standard. The petition asks for information on the types of greenhouse gases measured for the Renewable Fuels Strategy, and what the results and costs of achieving these greenhouse gas reductions were. The petition then asks whether these measurements were validated by a third party. It also asks whether the data on achieved results and reductions was ever publicly shared and how it will be used to inform the development of the Clean Fuel Standard.

Federal departments responsible for reply: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada