Release 09-113
December 17, 2009

Stanley Young
cell 916-956-9409

Suntanu Dalal
Ministry of Environment
250 387-9745

British Columbia working with California to reduce vehicle emissions

VICTORIA, B.C./SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - British Columbia and the California Air Resources Board have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to pave the way for stringent greenhouse gas emissions standards for new light-duty vehicles.

Environment Minister Barry Penner and John Yap, Minister of State for Climate Action joined James N. Goldstene, executive officer of the California Air Resources Board today to acknowledge the agreement at a special, carbon neutral video-conference event.

"This agreement demonstrates the strong partnership we have established with the State of California and California Air Resources Board," said Penner. "In the face of uncertainty at international and national levels, we've been working across borders and uniting in action as a Province and a State to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate climate change."

"This international co-operation agreement extends the reach and effectiveness of our programs beyond California's borders," said Mary D. Nichols, chairman of the California Air Resources Board. "This will provide even greater market for the automobile industry to provide the clean and efficient vehicles that consumers are demanding."

The MOU commits the Ministry of Environment and the California Air Resources Board to move forward in partnership in the implementation of greenhouse gas emissions standards for new cars, SUVs and light-duty trucks. Vehicle emissions standards mirroring California's are projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light-duty vehicles in B.C. by 30 per cent in 2016, relative to current vehicles.

Both parties to the agreement will share information and resources to support consistent application of vehicle emissions standards to vehicle models available in California and B.C. This will include co-operation on vehicle test data and the determination of greenhouse gas emissions associated with each light-duty passenger vehicle included in a manufacturer's vehicle fleet.

The California Air Resources Board is one of the leading agencies in the development of climate change policy in North America. The board is the primary agency responsible for implementing California's climate change commitments.

"We look forward to strengthening our working relationship with British Columbia to develop comprehensive greenhouse gas standards for vehicles," said Goldstene. "This international partnership will extend from policy development to close co-operation between our respective staffs on all aspects of testing and research."

"When it comes to taking action to reduce emissions from the transportation sector, we couldn't ask for a better partner or mentor than the California Air Resources Board," said Yap. "We're very grateful for the support, and under this MOU we aspire to bring the board's high standards for vehicle emissions to B.C. and all of Canada."

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province's news feeds using RSS, visit the Province's website at

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.