National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy

October 19, 2005 06:00 ET

NRTEE/Don't Bring in Vehicle "Feebates" on Their own Says National Round Table

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 19, 2005) -

A comprehensive, integrated strategy aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada's transportation sector is needed

The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) has recommended to the federal government that it not introduce a program of vehicle "feebates" in the next federal budget. Feebates - fees or rebates for vehicle sales depending on their fuel efficiency - may not on their own be effective in achieving their goals of encouraging conservation and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

The NRTEE's Report is in response to the Government's request in Budget 2005 that it examine feebates, consult with stakeholders and make recommendations prior to the next budget. After researching the issue and consulting with industry, labour, consumer and environmental organizations and government representatives, the Round Table concluded that:

- A feebate program on its own would not likely bring about its
intended goals - encouraging people to purchase more fuel efficient
vehicles and thus lessen greenhouse gas emissions that contribute
to climate change. There are too many unknown or poorly understood
external factors that could distort how the vehicle market works -
some factors could actually lead to increased emissions such as
increased purchases of used vehicles or cross border arbitrage.

- It would be better to develop a comprehensive, integrated strategy
aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the whole
transportation sector. Within this strategy, a vehicle feebate
could be considered further. All stakeholder groups consulted
agreed that a comprehensive strategy would work better.

- A step forward would be for the Federal Government, with the
Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers' Association (CVMA) and the
Association of International Automobile Manufacturers of Canada
(AIAMC), to release a detailed plan for the implementation of the
existing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that commits the
Canadian automotive industry to achieving a target for reducing
greenhouse gas emissions by 5.3 megatonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gas
emissions (CO2e) from cars and light trucks in 2010. This plan
should be released to the public no later than November 1, 2006.

"Feebates are not the most promising tool for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions in Canada's transportation sector and are not consistent with the approach the NRTEE is taking on its longer term advice to the Prime Minster on a post-Kyoto climate change strategy," said Glen Murray, NRTEE Chair. "Feebates alone could cost consumers more for little benefit to the environment and hamper our vitally important automotive industry."

The NRTEE, an independent federal agency, is dedicated to exploring new opportunities to integrate environmental conservation and economic development, in order to sustain Canada's prosperity and secure its future.

Contact Information

    Ms. Kelly Bagg
    Communications Advisor
    (613) 947-0664
    (613) 992-7385 (FAX)
    (613) 447-8519 (Cell)