Quebec to adopt tough, California-style vehicle emissions rules

29 December 2009 20:36  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--Canada’s Quebec province will adopt emissions standards equivalent to those in force in California, effective mid-January, the Quebec provincial government said on Tuesday.

Tougher vehicle emissions standards are generally seen as a benefit for the biofuels industry, as well as producers of automotive plastics who seek to make vehicles lighter.

Under the Quebec regulations, an average light vehicle sold in Quebec would produce no more than 127 grammes of greenhouse gases per kilometre by 2016, down from 201 grammes in 2009.

Quebec’s move came as neighbouring US states, including Massachusetts, Maine and Vermont, have adopted California’s rules, Quebec environment minister Line Beauchamp said. Those rules are tougher than current US federal standards, and the US government is expected to adopt those rules nationwide by 2012.

Quebec would apply its standards on the basis of car manufacturers’ fleets, rather than individual cars, she said. The detailed Quebec regulation is available, in French, on the ministry’s website.

Quebec is the first Canadian province to move to California’s emissions standards. French-speaking Quebec is Canada's second largest province by population, after Ontario.

Political analysts noted that Quebec was moving forward unilaterally, unwilling to wait for Canada’s federal government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper to act.

The transportation sector accounts for some 40% of Quebec’s greenhouse gas emissions, according to the government.

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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