Canada unveils heavy-vehicle emissions rules

Fri Apr 13, 2012 12:25pm EDT
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada, heavily criticized for its environmental record, unveiled long-delayed regulations on Friday that aim to make big trucks and buses up to 23 percent less polluting by 2018.

The greenhouse-gas emissions rules - designed to fit with measures already set in the United States - will come into effect starting with the 2014 model year. They will apply to full-size pickups, heavy trucks and buses as well as to cement, garbage and dump trucks.

"The new standards are expected to reduce emissions from 2018 heavy duty vehicles by up to 23 percent from those sold in 2010," Environment Minister Peter Kent said in a speech announcing the rules.

"We expect this to translate into total greenhouse gas emissions reductions of about three megatons annually in 2020 - equivalent to removing about 650,000 personal vehicles from the road," he said.

The right-of-center Conservative government said in May 2010 it would produce new emissions standards for heavy duty vehicles within months but failed to do so.

Last August the Obama administration in the United States unveiled its own similar measures.

"Since the transportation sector makes up nearly one-quarter of all emissions, any climate change strategy must take a hard look at what happens on our highways," Kent said.

Canada - a major energy producer that abandoned the Kyoto protocol on climate change last year - wants to cut overall greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.   Continued...

Clouds move through trees along a mountain ridge in Whistler, British Columbia February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Andy Clark