Canola Biofuels — Growing Low Carbon Solutions

April 25, 2019

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Increasing the Canadian biodiesel mandate from 2% to 5% would be a win-win-win scenario, with benefits for the environment, farmers, and the economy.

Canadian canola is a high-quality biodiesel feedstock used in Canada, the United States and the European Union. Together, these three regions use approximately 1.5 million tonnes of Canadian canola in renewable diesel annually.

In Canada, the Renewable Fuels Regulation currently mandates that renewable diesel make up 2% of the total diesel supply. An increase to the federal mandate from 2% to 5% would:

  1. decrease the environmental footprint from heavy-duty diesel vehicles — ​offer immediate greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions at a low cost (currently, wholesale prices of diesel and biodiesel in western Canada are equal);
  2. help diversify the canola market for farmers — create new domestic demand for crops;
  3. spur investment —​ provide regulatory stability that will support jobs and investment in Canada’s processing sector.

Increasing the biodiesel mandate to 5% of the diesel pool1 would use 1.3 million metric tonnes of canola in Canada and reduce GHG emissions by 3.5 million tonnes of CO2equivalent per year.

Canada grows around 20 million tonnes of canola each year, making it readily available and more than enough to meet increased demand. Our target is to sustainably grow 26 million tonnes of canola by 2025.

Canadian canola production is environmentally sustainable and efficient.

  • The crop meets sustainability criteria in the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive.
  • It is an approved feedstock under the United States’ Renewable Fuel Standard.
  • It is the only Canadian crop certified as sustainable by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification system.

​Biofuels are a cleaner energy option for heavy-duty diesel vehicles. There are currently no other viable, low-carbon energy alternatives for these vehicles, including tractors and transport trucks. Increasing the Renewable Fuels Regulation to 5% would work within the existing regulatory framework and offer quantifiable environmental and economic benefits.

1 Assuming canola’s curr​ent 40% share of the feedstock mix is maintained.

Thanks to the Canadian Canola Growers Association for generously sharing this content.

Visit the CCGA website for more agricultural news, videos and podcasts

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