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Antipollution requirements of the automotive market could change

A majority of Canadians, and an even larger number of Quebecers, want vehicle-based manufacturing standards to be maintained or strengthened, a poll found.

Isabelle Grignon-Francke, La Presse
April 18, 2019

To respect this citizen’s desire, the Canadian government should break with American standards, on which the requirements applied here are directly copied.

The survey commissioned by Équiterre and Clean Energy Canada is published while the Trudeau government is expected to take a position very soon. “In the face of the imminent announcement of new rules by the Canadian government, we want it to maintain its rigor and divorce the US government,” says Annie Bérubé, Director of Government Relations at Equiterre.

In August 2018, the Trump government announced its intention to downgrade greenhouse gas standards for light cars sold in the United States. This decision reversed the reduction targets put in place by the Obama administration.

Washington’s announcement also came with the obligation for all states to comply with the regulations, removing the 14 states that wished to do so from the right to make stricter and independent decisions. In early April, California decided to officially sue the Trump administration in court questioning the legitimacy of the Trump government to do so. The most important player in the US auto market points to the real impacts of regulation on the health of Americans and their environment.

The weight of Canada

Together, the progressive American states opposing Trump and the Canadian market represent just under half of the North American auto market. “The Canadian market is important in the debate,” believes Ms. Bérubé.

In Canada, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association of Canada (APMA) believes that we must rely on the decision that will be made in our neighbors to the south. “It’s reasonable to have general concerns, but you have to be careful. In this context, we must not isolate the Canadian market from the US market, “says APMA President Flavio Volpe.

The Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), Catherine McKenna seems to be moving in this direction, and will act on the basis of the decisions taken in the United States, mentioning in the same voice want a better regulation for the environment. “Canada is planning to follow the actions of California. Following the release of a final US rule, the ministry will engage in consultations to determine whether the greenhouse gas emission standards for the 2022 to 2025 models remain appropriate for Canada, “wrote Mark Johnson. spokesperson for the media for ECCC.

Automotive leaders in the United States, as in Canada, do not formally oppose stricter standards, but state the complexity of having two markets with different standards. They fear that slow decisions will cost them a lot of money and that they will not be able to adapt quickly.

The Obama administration had predicted that in 2025 light vehicles would consume only 4.2 liters of gasoline per 100km. Washington now wants to freeze it at 6.4 L / 100km, a level that will be reached in 2020.

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