Wednesday, May 12, 2010

CN advances carbon offset plan

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Canadian National said Wednesday it has pioneered a modal shift protocol that will create new carbon offset project opportunities for British Columbia's transportation sector.

CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau said Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT), a Crown corporation and leading provider of offsets in British Columbia, has agreed to recognize the protocol for modal shift offset projects in the province. Theprotocal allows companies to generate carbon offsets by shifting freightshipments to rail from truck, following detailed, specific set of instructions on how to carry out an offset project.

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Shippers that demonstrate lower emissions from using a modal shift and meet the British Columbia Emission Offsets Regulation can use the resulting offsets to generate revenue through the sale of the offsets to PCT. Emission reductions may also help reduce carbon taxes and/or help companies meet their emissions reduction goals.

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Said Mongeau, “Freight transportation is an important part of the North American economy and a major producer of greenhouse gases (GHG). The modal shift protocol is a powerful tool for shippers seeking ways of reducing GHG emissions, and will simultaneously help to reduce heavy truck activity on highways. We hope other jurisdictions across North America will also adopt this innovative modal shift protocol as they develop new measures to combat climate change.”

According to the 2007 British Columbia Provincial Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report, transportation accounts for 37% of provincial GHG emissions, the largest share by sector.

British Columbia Minister of State for Climate Action John Yap said, “CN is showing the type of low-carbon mindset that we would like to see all industries in B.C. follow. Finding ways to creatively lower emissions in all sectors ofour economy is the way to stay competitive in the global marketplace and meet our target of reducing provincial emissions by 33%.”

PCT Chief Executive Officer Scott MacDonald said, “We're working across multiple sectors to stimulate the growth of a low-carbon economy in British Columbia. We congratulate CN for taking a leadership role in this important sector and look forward to seeing new projects added to our diverse inventory of offsets.”