Canada's first motor vehicle fuel consumption regulations: consultations begin



    OTTAWA, Jan. 17 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister
of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, today announced he is delivering
on the Government of Canada's commitment to implement fuel consumption
regulations. For the first time Canada will regulate the fuel consumption of
new cars and light trucks, beginning with the 2011 model year. Consultations
will begin with automotive, environmental and other stakeholders as part of
the government's commitment to implement national fuel consumption regulations
for motor vehicles.
    "We made a commitment to implement fuel consumption regulations for the
2011 model year that are benchmarked against a stringent, dominant North
American standard, and we are keeping our word," said Minister Cannon. "Our
government recognizes that the transportation sector is one of the largest
sources of greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions in Canada, accounting
for 25 per cent of all Canada's GHG emissions. That's why we are taking action
now to make sure that, into the future, we have the most environmentally
responsible cars and trucks on Canadian roads."
    In 2006, the combined (car and light truck) new vehicle fleet average
fuel consumption was approximately 8.6 L/100 km in Canada. This is equivalent
to 27 miles per gallon. The regulations will prescribe a standard that will be
designed to maximize the environmental and economic benefits for Canada. The
federal government will monitor closely the work of the U.S. government,
towards establishing an environmentally ambitious North American regulatory
standard for cars and light-duty trucks.
    "The United States Congress has set an ambitious target of 35 miles per
gallon - or 6.7 litres/100 kilometres - for the average fuel economy of
vehicles sold in 2020," explained Minister Cannon. "We welcome the U.S. goal,
but are committed to developing made-in-Canada standards that achieve - at
minimum - that same target in Canada. The consultations ahead will be key to
delivering the standard. Put simply, this means that the government will
regulate by the 2011 model year. By 2020, the average new vehicle sold in
Canada will have a fuel consumption better than some of today's hybrid cars,
and produce fewer GHG emissions, than approximately 93 per cent of all vehicle
entries listed in the 2008 Fuel Consumption Guide. I am very proud to start
this historic regulatory process."
    Consultations on the development of the fuel consumption regulations will
include the automotive industry, environmental non-governmental organizations,
provinces and territories, and other stakeholders. A short issue brief has
been developed to inform these consultations. All interested parties are
encouraged to review the brief and submit their views in writing to Transport
Canada no later than March 15, 2008.
    Following consultations, the Government of Canada will publish draft
regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part I. This will be followed by a 90-day
comment and review period to provide a formal opportunity for Canadians to
respond. The Government of Canada will then review the comments in order to
develop final regulations. It is anticipated that these final regulations will
be published in the Canada Gazette, Part II, by the end of 2008. The
regulations will come into force for the 2011 model year.
    The issue brief "A Better Canada - A Cleaner Environment: Development of
Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption Regulations" is available at
http://www.tc.gc.ca/pol/en/environment/FuelConsumption/index.html. A
backgrounder that provides more information about fuel consumption in Canada
is attached.

    
                                 Backgrounder
                                 ------------

                 MOTOR VEHICLE FUEL CONSUMPTION CONSULTATIONS
                 --------------------------------------------

    Efficient, accessible and reliable transportation is critically important
for Canada's economy and standard of living. It is essential for personal
mobility and for the efficient movement of freight in domestic and
international markets. However, our reliance on our transportation system
comes at a price: transportation is one of the largest sources of air
pollutants and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Canada. It accounts for about
25 per cent of all Canada's GHG emissions and grew by 27 per cent between 1990
and 2004. Cars and light trucks together account for about 12 per cent of
total national emissions.
    Over the past 30 years, Canada has had a voluntary policy for improvements
in fuel consumption from cars and light trucks. In 2005, the vehicle suppliers
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reduce GHG emissions from cars
and light trucks by 5.3 million tonnes in 2010. Despite some improvements in
fuel consumption and emissions control technology brought by these voluntary
policies, total fuel consumed and GHG emissions have risen substantially over
the last two decades.
    More needs to be done. For the first time, Canada will regulate the fuel
consumption of new cars and light trucks, beginning with the 2011 model year.
By the end of 2008, the Government of Canada will establish an ambitious
mandatory fuel consumption standard that will be implemented through
regulations developed under the authority of the Motor Vehicle Fuel
Consumption Standards Act (MVFCSA). The Act was proclaimed on November 2,
2007.
    In April 2007, Transport Canada and the United States Department of
Transportation signed a Memorandum of Cooperation aimed at improving motor
vehicle fuel efficiency. The Memorandum of Cooperation provides opportunities
for the two governments to meet periodically to share respective strategies
and regulatory practices governing motor vehicle fuel efficiency; exchange
research, modelling and analysis related to fuel efficiency standards; and
exchange information on motor vehicle fuel efficiency developments and
initiatives within the two countries.
    Specifically, the Memorandum of Cooperation refers to exchanging
information on:

    - the assessment of technological changes to improve the fuel efficiency
      of vehicles;
    - potential options for fuel economy standards;
    - the assessment of the proposed standards' impact on the auto industry;
    - developments related to potential credit trading systems; and
    - experiences relating to the use of economic instruments and sharing of
      work plans.

    The Memorandum of Cooperation will allow the two countries to benefit from
their knowledge and experience in the area of motor vehicle fuel efficiency.
    The motor vehicle fuel consumption regulations will be consistent with the
spirit of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America to develop
regulatory approaches that are compatible across our borders and reduce the
effects of climate change and air pollution, while fuelling the North American
economy. In August 2007, Security and Prosperity Partnership leaders
specifically agreed to explore ways to cooperate on national auto fuel
efficiency standards.
    The regulations will be developed in keeping with our commitment to work
in close collaboration with the U.S. government, towards establishing an
environmentally ambitious North American regulatory standard for cars and
light-duty trucks.

    Options for a Canadian Standard

    The Government of Canada policy for the development of the Canadian stand
ard was outlined in the Regulatory Framework for Air Emissions, released on
April 26, 2007. This policy document broadly defines the options to be
considered for fuel consumption standards in Canada and clarifies that the
standard will be designed to maximize Canada's environmental and economic
benefits.
    The level of the standard will be determined through the normal regulatory
process. No decision has yet been made on the general format of a Canadian
standard. In general, however, the standard will be specified for fuel
consumption, retaining established test procedures, and will be compatible
with the U.S. federal approach to fuel economy standards. The Canadian
standard will also be prescribed under the MVFCSA and will apply to each
manufacturer or importer of vehicles sold in Canada.

                                                                January 2008
    




For further information:

For further information: Karine White, Office of the Minister of
Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, Ottawa, (613) 991-0700; Media
Relations, Transport Canada, Ottawa, (613) 993-0055; Transport Canada is
online at www.tc.gc.ca. Subscribe to news releases and speeches at
www.tc.gc.ca/listserv/and keep up to date on the latest from Transport Canada.
This news release may be made available in alternative formats for persons
with visual disabilities.


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