September 28, 2006

New California vehicle emissions standard should be adopted in Canada says David Suzuki Foundation

Ottawa, Ontario – Canada’s federal government should adopt the same vehicle emissions standards as California as part of a comprehensive plan to fight global warming, says the David Suzuki Foundation.

“With roughly identical population sizes and similar car markets, California and Canada face the same urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Pierre Sadik, senior policy advisor with the David Suzuki Foundation. “But while California appears to be well on its way to reducing vehicle emissions, Canada continues to rely on weak, voluntary guidelines.”

California’s new vehicle standards will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 23 per cent in 2012 and 30 per cent by 2016. Ottawa should introduce the standard for 2009, the same year it takes effect in California, says Mr. Sadik.

Under these regulations, Canadians would save between $3,500 and $5,000 in fuel costs over the lifetime of a vehicle – an amount that would easily offset the $400 to $1,200 that would be added to the price of a new vehicle. As well, Canadian auto parts manufacturers stand to benefit from the production of new and unique parts for this generation of cars built to the California standard.

Tougher regulations on automobile emissions can also reduce air pollution and improve overall public health. Estimates of the number of preventable premature deaths, mainly among senior citizens, caused annually by air pollution in Canada range from 5,900 to 16,000. The most recent study by the federal government estimated 5,900 premature deaths annually in eight major cities.
“The California emission standard will save drivers money, help reduce smog in Canadian cities, and will get us on the road to meeting our Kyoto commitment,” said Mr. Sadik.

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