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Generating Carbon Offset Credits in Canada Using Weigh-in-Motion


Canada has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) by six percent from 1990 levels by 2012 through the Kyoto Protocol. Currently Canada is struggling to meet this target and it is unlikely that it will be met for 2012. Canada’s Offset System for Greenhouse Gases is one initiative being pursued to encourage industry to develop methods of reducing GHGs and was formed to encourage the development of technology and procedures that can reduce or store GHGs. It qualifies to be within the compliance market for carbon credits. To earn offset credits that can be sold within the Offset System, specific procedures for quantification, data management and verification by a third party must be followed and maintained. Weigh-in-motion (WIM) and other intelligent transportation systems (ITS) have been shown to improve efficiencies in trucking while still being able to enforce weights and dimension legislation to protect roadway infrastructure. With these improvements the amount of GHG emissions generated may be reduced, particularly on a per tonne basis to improve transport efficiency. With Canada’s commitment to the reduction of GHGs it is important to be able to account for all projects that are reducing carbon within Canada. This paper reviews the applicability of Canada’s Offset System for Greenhouse Gases to the implementation of WIM and other ITS as a method to reduce GHG generation. The findings of this paper indicate that offset credits may be generated through the implementation of systems to improve transport efficiency. The technology now available reduces the GHGs but also specifically accounts for each individual truck. The case study used the emissions model for truck transport emissions developed at the University of Saskatchewan using 150,000 trucks over a one year period and shows that 228,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, 0.32% of the Canada’s Kyoto target, can be reduced with the implementation of weigh-in-motion and other ITS technologies at weigh stations . This reduction results in 228,000 offset credits that may be sold for revenue by an agency. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Marlis Foth
Curtis Berthelot
Randy Hanson
Geometric design, Transportation planning