Canada and the United States have announced harmonized automobile emission standards for the two countries.
NEW STANDARDS ANNOUNCED FOR CARS
CBC reports that, “By 2016, the new measures (on fuel efficiency standards) will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles by 25 percent from 2008 models.”
NEW STANDARDS COMING FOR TRUCKS
The Globe and Mail reports that, “(Environment minister Jim) Prentice signalled that Ottawa and Washington will (also) move this spring to propose fuel economy standards for larger trucks, which represent the fastest growing source of transportation emissions.”
FOLLOWING THE U.S. LEAD
“Ultimately, the government will also regulate emissions from trains, ships and commercial airliners.”
“As with automobiles, it appears that those decisions will be made in Washington.”
MANUFACTURERS WELCOME CONTINENTAL APPROACH The Canwest News Service reports that, “Automobile manufacturers said they were pleased that the government’s approach recognizes the integrated nature of the North American market and the importance of harmonizing standards with the United States for cars and light trucks that account for about 12 per cent of Canadian greenhouse gas emissions.”
(The Globe and Mail reports, “Ottawa says the transportation sector accounts for 25 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions, with passenger vehicles accounting for half of that total.”)
“Environment Canada has introduced several compliance mechanisms that allow manufacturers to meet the target, including the option of purchasing credits from the government for failing to meet the 2011 model year at a cost of $20 per tonne. In subsequent years, manufacturers would be able to buy credits from their competitors which exceed their targets at a price to be set by the market.”
QUEBEC AND CALIFORNIA TO FOLLOW THE NEW CONTINENTAL RULES The Globe and Mail adds, “The new regulations mark a complete U-turn for the Harper government. Just a few months ago, the federal Environment Minister slammed the Quebec government for ‘folly’ in adopting the ambitious automobile emission standards that were first proposed by California. Yesterday, both California and Quebec said they would adopt the new ‘continental rules’ that so closely follow their own.”
MEETING THE CLIMATE CHANGE CHALLENGE?
These new rules are being promoted as a way that Canada will meet its overall emission targets.
That said, on January 30, Prentice announced that Canada’s new goal is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent below its 2005 levels by 2020. This is the same target as the Americans. But the 17 per cent cut Prentice has promised is actually a 2.5 per cent increase over 1990 levels. More on that at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2793.
Canwest notes, “The Harper government said it will adopt its new regulations by this summer, following a two-month public consultation period.”