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Indicators
  Sulphur Dioxides
  Nitrogen Dioxides
  Volatile Organic Compounds
  Carbon Monoxide
  Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  Water Consumption
  Municipal Sewage Treatment
  Energy Consumption
  Energy Efficiency
  Municipal Waste
  Recycling
  Hazardous Waste
  Nuclear Waste
  Ozone Depletion
  Pesticide Use
  Fertilizer Use
  Livestock
  Species at Risk
  Protected Areas
  Fisheries
  Forests
  Road Vehicles
  Distance Traveled
  Population
  Official Development Assistance
   

 

 

TRANSPORTATION:
Road distance traveled

The transportation sector is responsible for significant environmental impacts, particularly in the areas of air pollution, water pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation uses about 30% of the energy consumed in Canada, almost entirely through burning fossil fuels.36

As previously noted, the construction and maintenance of road networks also causes extensive environmental damage. Canada’s public road network is approximately 900,000 km in length, more than 23 times the distance around the planet. Roads used to access natural resources (e.g. logging roads) add hundreds of thousands more kilometres to the national total.37

Canada’s OECD Ranking
Canada ranks 26th out of 29 OECD countries in distance traveled by road vehicles per capita. Only residents of the United States, Australia and Luxembourg travel further via road vehicles. Canada’s large geographic size is apparently not the determining factor, as “the largest proportion of the travel [in Canada] occurs within cities or the urban region surrounding the major cities.”38

It is worth noting that 23 out of 26 other OECD countries charge higher taxes on gasoline than Canada.

Canadians travel an average of 8954 km per person annually in road vehicles. In total, the distance traveled by road vehicles in Canada is 274 billion km, placing Canada 24th out of 29 OECD nations. Only the United States, Germany, France, the United Kingdom and Italy tallied greater total distances of road vehicle travel.

Trend
The per capita distance traveled by road vehicles in Canada increased by 33% between 1980 and 1997. The total distance traveled by road vehicles increased by 117% between 1970 and 1997, reflecting growth in population, growth in the number of vehicles on the road and greater distances traveled per person.

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