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Biofuels key to success of Canada's Clean Fuel Standard new study suggests

Two of Canada’s largest biofuels stakeholders organisations – Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada) and Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC) – have released the results of a new study on the economic impact of Canada’s upcoming Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). The study finds that biofuels could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by approximately 70 percent of the 30 megatonne (MT) target set by the federal government.

The Canadian biofuels sector is poised to play a critical role as the foundation of the country’s clean fuel growth according to a new study jointly commissioned by Renewable Industries Canada (RICanada) and Advanced Biofuels Canada (ABFC).

Representing almost 50 member companies in total the study “Impact Assessment of Clean Fuel Standard on the Canadian Economy” was jointly commissioned by RICanada and ABFC and carried out by Doyletech Corporation.

The study demonstrates that biofuels could be responsible for as much as 21.3 megatonnes (MT) per year of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reductions by 2030 – approximately 70 percent of the 30 MT target set by the federal government.

On this basis, the study author concludes that meeting the increased demand for biofuels with domestic production would:

  • have a one-time construction phase impact of CA$9.6 billion and 47 100 job-years during the build-out period;
  • bring an increase of CA$21.3 billion per annum in economic activity and 12 614 permanent jobs.

This objective report provides yet more evidence that the Canadian biofuels industry can play a major role in further reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation while creating jobs and economic growth. Our biofuels sector is poised to grow and build upon our past successes said Jim Grey, RICanada Chair.

Furthermore, the study notes that all levels of government would benefit from increased tax revenues, including:

  • CA$1.69 billion per year for the federal government;
  • CA$1.47 billion per year for provincial governments;
  • CA$107 million per year for municipal governments.

The drive to low carbon fuels is on, with Canada in a race to attract global capital to expand domestic clean fuels. This study shows how a robust CFS can benefit Canadians in agriculture and forestry, as well as provide new, economical solutions for urban and industrial wastes. If we had tallied lower health bills from cleaner air in our cities, the benefits would be even larger, said Ian Thomson, President, ABFC.

The Canadian biofuels industry has been removing the carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent of 1 million cars from the roads each year since 2010. Combatting pollution with biofuels already generates CA$3.5 billion worth of annual economic activity, and has created over 14 000 jobs, a previous study by Doyletech from 2013 found.

According to RICanada and ABFC, the renewable fuels sector is a rural success story that has provided well-paying jobs and supports the agricultural sector. As farm outputs rise quickly due to new efficiencies, biofuels provide important price stability to farmers facing new market and trade challenges.

As well, it provides additional value to animal fats and used cooking oils (UCO), and will increasingly tap new feedstocks such as municipal solid waste (MSW) and forest residues.

The biofuels sector is poised to play a critical role as the foundation of the country’s clean fuel growth. A wave of innovation is building upon the successes of the last few decades as the industry continues to provide Canadians with renewable, clean-burning biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel – and bring new low-carbon biofuels to the front line of the fight against climate change, concluded RICanada and ABFC in a joint statement.

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