Canada Is World’s Worst Offender When It Comes To CO2 Emissions Per Kilometre Driven

Gasoline prices are expected to remain just below record highs all across Canada this summer except in Vancouver – where a perfect storm of factors will likely ensure motorists continue to set new all-time records at the pumps.

Meanwhile, we’re learning that Canada’s drivers are guilty of emitting the most carbon per kilometre driven in the world, and it’s due to our preference for SUVs and pickup trucks. 

According to new research from the International Energy Agency (IEA) released earlier this spring, passenger vehicles on Canada’s roads emitted 206 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometre driven. That’s even higher than the second-place U.S., at 198 grams per kilometre, and it’s about 50 per cent higher than many Western European countries.

Overall fuel efficiency in Canada improved from 2005 to 2013, then stagnated, and then started moving backwards around 2016, and it’s because of the mix of cars on Canada’s roads. In 2017, 61 per cent of new sales were SUV/pickup trucks, the highest share in the world and nearly double Canada’s market share in 2005.

Canadians have also been slow to adapt to hybrid and electric cars, with sales of hybrids 40 per cent below U.S. sales, relative to population. The federal Liberals recently introduced a new electric vehicle rebate of up to $5,000 on models up to $55,000 in price. Similar rebates in British Columbia, California and elsewhere have been credited with boosting electric car sales.

Image sources: Huffpost Canada /

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