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OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will not unilaterally impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions from industry, saying on Thursday that it will work in tandem with the United States, as it is doing with vehicle standards.
"We don't anticipate doing this alone. Industrial regulations will require the same kind of collaboration that we've had with the United States on the transportation sector," Environment Minister Jim Prentice told Reuters.
Speaking after unveiling new automobile emission standards in conjunction with Washington, Prentice said it was important to move in parallel to maintain competitiveness.
"We maintain our position that we need to do this on a continental basis because the risk ... in terms of loss of jobs and investments in Canada to the United States is significant," he said.
Canada and the United States announced on Thursday they had finalized common rules governing greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks, with rules governing heavy trucks expected in the near future.
Prentice said it appears increasingly likely the United States will not enact a cap-and-trade system to limit industrial carbon emissions because of resistance in the Senate. He expects Washington to likely go the route of limiting emissions by imposing regulations on business.
"Essentially, the United States is moving more in terms of a regulatory framework for industrial emissions," Prentice said, adding that Ottawa had already done a great deal of work on setting up a regulatory framework.
Despite the uncertainty over how to approach regulating the industrial sector, Prentice earlier told a news conference that Canada stands by plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020.
Reporting by Randall Palmer; editing by Rob Wilson