Canada, carmakers sign tough emissions pact: Explicit cooperation between blue states and other countries on enviro issues. "Faced with the threat that Canada would adopt tough, California-style rules on auto emissions, major automakers agreed Tuesday [April 2005] to voluntarily reduce the global-warming emissions of cars and light trucks sold north of the border. Auto industry watchdogs said the deal, signed Tuesday in Windsor, Ontario, by officials of the Canadian government and the nation's automobile industry, could force automakers to adopt similar stringent emissions rules for vehicles sold throughout the United States.
The agreement follows the lead of regulations adopted last November in California, which U.S. automakers -- the same multinational giants that dominate Canada's auto industry -- are seeking to overturn in court. Tuesday's pact commits the manufacturers to reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions of their vehicles sold in Canada by 5.3 million metric tons -- about 25 percent -- by the end of 2010. In comparison, rules adopted in California oblige automakers to reduce their global-warming emissions by 30 percent, starting in 2009 and culminating in 2016.
Supporters of California's rules praised Tuesday's deal but said it showed the automakers were being two-faced, voluntarily adopting standards in Canada that they oppose south of the border. .. "But it shows that the steps on global warming that car manufacturers say would wreak havoc in California are eminently doable," said [Tom Dresslar, spokesman for the Calif. attorney general]. "If you look at the history of this industry, whenever there are regulations proposed about safety, consumers and the environment, Detroit comes out with the Chicken Little routine, and that has never turned out to be an accurate prediction of the future." ..
the new standards will force an unprecedented increase in gas mileage for more than one-third of the vehicles sold in North America. New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have adopted California's strict emissions targets. With this mass of auto buyers now joined by millions of Canadians, the auto industry is under increasing pressure to adopt the new levels for all its fleets, rather than offering different models for the two different markets.
Canada's voluntary deal may have been set in motion by unprecedented cooperation between California officials and their Canadian counterparts, who have met in recent months to discuss the possibility of Canada's adopting California's air quality rules. .. "California's pressure and the cross-border visits were very instrumental in helping the Canadian government to move forward and get the deal," said John Bennett, senior policy adviser for energy for the Sierra Club of Canada. " 3:23:11 PM