The Canadian Government last month published a draft of their Clean Fuel Standard (CFS), which is central to the ruling Liberal Party’s commitment to cut greenhouse gas emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The proposed regulation is also a key part of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s pledge that Canada will hit net-zero emissions by 2050.
CFS requires suppliers of liquid fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and kerosene, to gradually cut the amount of carbon in their product.
There will be carbon-intensity reduction targets set for each fuel, starting in 2022 and increasing annually until 2030. Carbon intensity is measured on a full life-cycle basis, from crude oil extraction, to refining, to a fuel’s end use by consumers.
The CFS is intended to cut carbon emissions, spur investment in clean-energy technology and create a credit trading scheme, where fuel suppliers that are not meeting carbon-intensity reduction requirements can buy credits generated by other companies producing cleaner fuel.
The federal government says the CFS will cut annual emissions by more than 20 megatons by 2030, which would be around 10% of the reductions needed to meet Canada’s climate commitments. Canada currently produces around 730 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and has pledged to cut that to 511 megatons by 2030. It is the tenth largest greenhouse gas emitter globally.
The draft regulation is in a 75-day comment period and if adopted this year will come into force at the end of 2022.
The government originally planned to regulate gaseous and solid fuels as well but narrowed its scope to just liquids. The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers welcomed that move, but refiners have previously warned the CFS risks increasing their costs.
There are numerous options available to oil companies; cut emissions associated with oil production, improve the energy efficiency of refineries, invest in carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and blend biofuels into their product. It is the latter that should be of concern to classic car enthusiasts and, of course, Citroën owners. We have written about the issues stemming from the use of ethanol blended gasoline in classic Citroëns. (See: https://citroenvie.com/ethanol-gasoline-why-you-want-to-avoid-using-it-if-at-all-possible/). They could also invest in low-carbon energy sources like hydrogen or renewables.
If the Canadian government follows through and implements CFS, get ready for increased maintenance to fuel lines, and carburetors from 2023 onward.
Not only will CFS impact repair costs, the price of fuel will also rise as fuel suppliers pass on their increased costs.
Canada estimates the CFS will cut greenhouse gas emissions by 221 megatonnes between 2021 and 2040, at a net cost of $94 CAD per tonne, but with a total net cost to society of $20.6 billion CAD.
For the time being at least, we have 2 more years of being able to fill-up with ethanol free gas at Shell and some other gas stations in Canada. (See: https://citroenvie.com/tips-on-searching-for-gas-that-is-ethanol-free/)
Enjoy your Citroën while you can!