Date: 30-Dec-09
Country: CANADA
Author: John McCrank

TORONTO – Quebec will become the first province in Canada to adopt California’s strict auto emissions standards, the province’s environment ministry said on Tuesday.

The new rules will come into effect on January 14 and will impose increasingly stringent limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars and light trucks made between 2010 and 2016 that are sold in the province.

Emissions from vehicles will be cut by about 35 percent over the four years, from 187 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer for passenger vehicles to 127 grams per kilometer by 2016, Charles Larochelle, assistant deputy environment minister in Quebec, said in an interview.

“In Quebec, 40 percent of our GHG emissions are from our transportation sector, so it’s quite an important sector if we want to get some reductions in our greenhouse gases,” he said.

Quebec first announced its plan to adopt the California emission standards two years ago, but was waiting for legal wrangling between the state of California and automakers to be resolved before it officially got on board.

Fourteen other U.S. states have also adopted the California plan, including Vermont, Maine, and New York state, all of which border Quebec.

The United States is looking at a national strategy to reduce carbon emissions, and the Canadian government has said it will probably tie itself to the U.S. plan.

(Editing by Peter Galloway)

© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved