The Canola Council of Canada (CCC) sees potential in the federal government’s proposed rules for the Clean Fuel Standard (CFS) released late last week. The organization says it's pleased to see the CFS provides options for Canadian farmers’ growing practices to be accepted at a national level without any additional on-farm requirements.

In the coming weeks, the CCC will be seeking additional detail from the Government of Canada on the methodology for calculating carbon intensity values which will be a key factor that drives demand for canola under the CFS.

“We’re pleased to see the proposed CFS allow canola to be used for biofuel without complex and costly on-farm regulatory burden, in line with US biofuel regulations,” said CCC President Jim Everson. “The CFS can create a strong domestic market for canola, reducing reliance on volatile global markets and at the same time contribute to improved air quality through greenhouse gas reduction.”

In a news release, the Canola Council says increased use of canola-based biofuels would create more value-added agriculture processing, economic growth and jobs here in Canada. The group notes, for example, modelling in the government’s proposed regulation estimates that the biofuel content in diesel could be 11 per cent in 2030, up from the current two per cent national requirement. At this level, the CFS could create a market the size of Japan for Canadian canola growers. In doing so, it would help diversify markets for the industry and reduce canola’s exposure and reliance on unpredictable markets.

Under the proposed CFS, Environment and Climate Change Canada would consider the absence of increased net land use for agriculture sufficient to satisfy sustainability criteria, meaning that no further compliance, audits or certification of feedstocks would be necessary. It also provides a country the ability to be approved if it is already approved under the US renewable fuel standard, as Canada has been for many years.

“Using more canola here in Canada is a key opportunity to increase value-added processing and diversify our markets,” added Everson. “We’re focused on creating market opportunities for canola biofuel, and we’re hopeful the final CFS will provide that opportunity if Ottawa gets it right.”

Canadian canola is poised to be a leader in the clean fuels sector and could make a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada – approximately 15 per cent of the federal government’s CFS targets.

“Canola takes carbon from the air - lowering greenhouse gases in the atmosphere - and uses it to produce food and fuel,” noted Everson. “Increased demand for canola while contributing to GHG emission reduction is a Canadian win-win.”

The CFS aims to reduce Canada’s GHG emissions by more than 20 megatonnes and help meet its commitment to reduce total emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. If adopted, the regulations will come into force in 2022.

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