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Canada considering adopting Californian emissions requirements

17 September 2019 Stephanie Brinley, MBA


Canada is reported to be considering adopting emissions regulations similar to those favoured by California, depending on what regulations the US federal government delivers, according to a WardsAuto report. The report cites a spokesperson for Canada's environment and climate change ministry as saying that it will wait until the US government makes a decision. After that, it "will engage in additional consultations to inform a determination of whether the established greenhouse gas emissions standards for the 2022 to 2025 model years remain appropriate for Canada". In addition, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, has signed a co-operative agreement with California Air Resources Board leader Mary Nichols, which reportedly commits the two jurisdictions to "collaborate on the development of our respective greenhouse gas regulations for light-duty vehicles that require meaningful improvements in vehicle efficiency every year". Wards reports that the two also have agreed to jointly analyse possible measures related to reaching zero-emissions vehicle sales targets, collaborate on research, emissions testing, and modelling for alternative-fuel vehicles and to enhance regulatory effectiveness through mutual acceptance of emissions data, which could minimise testing overlap.

Significance: Canada has traditionally followed the US in emissions regulations, with some exceptions, and this consideration by Canada reflects that country's concern about the impact of the US holding to 2022 standards, as the current US presidential administration has proposed and is considering. Furthermore, if the US is successful in ending California's waiver for setting its own greenhouse gas emissions rules, there may not be any Californian rules to share. It is also highly unusual for a state to engage in this type of co-operation with a foreign country. Though the reported co-operation is limited to sharing data and research, it is unclear whether US federal authorities could curb California's ability to implement such collaboration.

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