Marine Shipping – Reducing Climate and Biodiversity Impacts

The shipping industry is one of the world’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs). If it were a country, it would be the world’s sixth-biggest climate polluter, with global CO2 emissions greater than Germany. Canada must take steps to address the local and global climate impacts of shipping. In addition, disturbance, oil spills, whale strikes, and pollution from ships can severely impact critical habitat as well as community food security and health. In accordance with the polluter pays principle, the marine shipping industry has a responsibility to contribute to minimizing those impacts.

Recommended Investment:

Kick-starting Innovation:

  • $12 million over three years to prepare for the 2024 international ban on heavy fuel oil (HFO) in the Arctic through a fuel transition fund supporting the phase out of HFO in shipping to less polluting fuels like distillate/marine gas oil and zero- carbon alternatives [TC, ECCC];
  • $20 million over two years for R&D and sea trials to meet the target of 100% zero- emission vessels in Canadian inland waters by 2030 [TC, NRCan];
  • $10 million over two years towards a GHG reduction innovation fund to provide advisory and capacity-building services to assist with design, retrofit and testing for wind-assist, solar, electrification, autonomous technology and digitalization, and hull appendages [TC]; and
  • $40 million over two years to implement a national shore power plan to ensure all vessels and ports are equipped for shore power. [TC, ECCC]
    • The Green Budget Coalition recommends that funds be used to build shore power connections for ships to plug in, charge, or otherwise decarbonize cargo-handling and drayage equipment, and supply green energy for zero-emission vessels, vehicles, and equipment.

Generating Revenue:

  • Establish a Vessel Pollution Control Fund: Require the collection of fees from vessels and deposit such fees in the Fund to apply in the programs specified above [TC];
  • Cruise Tourism: Require the collection of a fee for every passenger who comes into Port in Canadian waters to fund enforcement, monitoring, and environmental initiatives such as pollution treatment and shore power [TC]; and
  • Insurance Fund: Establish a legally enforced insurance fund paid by the marine sector for public health and environmental impacts on local communities. This fund would ensure that there is proper compensation for those people amid any potential disruption or disaster. [TC]


Andrew Dumbrille –