Cleaning up and decarbonizing domestic shipping

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. Canada must take steps to address the climate impacts of marine shipping and to ensure that the polluter pays principle applies to this industry. In addition, disturbance, oil spills, whale strikes, and pollution from ships can severely impact critical habitat as well as Indigenous and community food security and health.


Accelerating zero-emission shipping

  1. Zero-emission vessels: $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]
  2. GHG emission reduction innovation fund: $10 million over two years towards a GHG reduction innovation fund to provide advisory and capacity-building services to assist with vessel design, retrofit and testing for wind-assist, solar, electrification, autonomous technology and digitalization, and hull appendages. [TC]
  3. Shore power: $100 million over five years to develop and begin implementing a national shore power plan to ensure vessels and ports are equipped for shore power. [TC, ECCC, INFC]
  4. Alternative fuels: $100 million over five years to ensure alternative fuels are readily available at Canadian ports to facilitate full decarbonization of Canadian shipping before 2050. Consideration should only be given to alternative fuels that offer significant life- cycle GHG benefits on a well-to-wake basis, including land-use change emissions. Liquified natural gas, liquified petroleum gas, and other fossil fuels should be explicitly excluded. [TC, ECCC, INFC]
  5. Marine fuel carbon pricing: $5 million over two years to develop and implement a policy instrument to explicitly include domestic shipping in the Canadian carbon pricing system. [TC, ECCC, DFO]
    See also Canada’s carbon pricing needs greater certainty to unlock decarbonization investments, earlier in this document

Generating revenue

  1. Vessel pollution control fund: Require the collection of fees from vessels and deposit such fees in the fund to apply in the innovation programs specified above [TC];
  2. Cruise tourism: Over three million cruise passengers transit through Canadian waters each year. Require the collection of a fee for every passenger who comes into Port in Canadian waters to fund an initiative, equivalent to the Indigenous Guardians Program or Alaska’s Ocean Ranger Program, to monitor and enforce compliance with federal requirements pertaining to marine discharge and pollution by cruise ships and ferries [TC]; and
  3. Insurance fund: Establish a legally enforced insurance fund paid by the marine sector for public health and environmental impacts on local and Indigenous communities. This fund would ensure that there is proper compensation for those people amid any potential disruption or disaster. [TC]