Canada and California team up to tackle vehicle climate pollution

News release

June 26, 2019 – Ottawa, Ontario

Reducing transport pollution will help Canadians save money, clean our air, and help fight climate change. The auto sector is changing quickly, with electric and autonomous vehicles and other advanced technologies creating huge new opportunities for automakers, parts manufacturers, software developers, and Canada’s mining sector. As demand for cleaner and more efficient vehicles grows, investing in innovation is essential to ensure that Canadian automakers remain competitive and that we continue attracting the jobs of the future.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, signed a new cooperation agreement to advance clean transportation.

With the fifth-largest economy in the world, California remains a global leader in harnessing clean solutions to spark economic growth and create new, middle-class jobs. Canada likewise remains committed to ambitious climate action, and is taking effective, concrete measures to reduce pollution throughout its economy. Cleaner vehicles and fuels are key to meeting Canada’s climate goals.

The agreement commits Canada and California to work together on their respective regulations to cut down on greenhouse gas pollution from vehicles like cars, pickup trucks and SUVs. Effective regulations, like those currently in effect in California and Canada, help ensure that people can drive fuel-efficient cars that cut down on pollution and save money in fuel costs.

The agreement also commits Canada and California to work together to promote the uptake and opportunity of cleaner vehicles. This will ensure Canadians have access to a wide variety of vehicles as we work toward having all light-duty vehicles sold here being 100% zero-emission vehicles by 2040. To help us get there, this year’s federal budget offers Canadians a rebate of up to $5,000 for qualifying zero-emission vehicles and other tax incentives for businesses that want to upgrade to zero-emission fleets. In California, automakers are required to ensure that zero-emission vehicles make up a growing proportion of their sales, and the state aims to have five million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030.

Canada and California will also share best practices and technical information about regulating cleaner fuels, building on California’s success with its pioneering Low-Carbon Fuel Standard. Canada is developing a Clean Fuel Standard that will cut emissions by 30 million tonnes in 2030—equivalent to taking 7 million cars off the road.

Pollution knows no borders. By working together with international partners and industry to find practical, affordable, and cleaner ways of doing things, the Government of Canada is fighting climate change, supporting good middle-class jobs, keeping life affordable and building the clean economy of the future.


“As the world’s fifth-largest economy and a global leader in clean transportation, California is a leading example of how climate action can be good for people, the environment and the economy. We look forward to working with California to fight climate change, keep the air clean and give drivers better options for cleaner, more affordable vehicles. By supporting clean innovation in Canada’s auto sector, we can build the vehicles of the future here at home, create good jobs, and remain competitive—all while reducing pollution and helping Canadians save hundreds of dollars a year at the pump.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“We are making it easier and more affordable for people to own more efficient and non-emitting vehicles, and we continue to work with partners around the world to provide that choice. Improving air quality, and lowering day-to-day costs for families remains a top priority for our government.”
– Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources

“California takes a backseat to no one when it comes to combatting climate change, standing up for clean air and protecting the health of future generations. We look forward to working with Canada to adopt clean technologies that take us closer to our clean air goals.”
– Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

“Both California and Canada are committed to our clean car future. We both recognize that cleaner vehicles and fuels will be critical to combating climate change, cleaning up air across our communities, and saving Canadians and Californians money at the pump.”
– Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board

Quick facts

  • California and Canada are close economic partners, with 1.2 million jobs in California dependent on trade and investment with Canada. California sells US $26.2 billion in goods and services to Canada annually.

  • Under the current regulations, new 2025 model year light-duty vehicles are expected to burn up to 50% less fuel and emit 50% fewer greenhouse gases than vehicles built in 2008.

  • Canada has committed to a mid-term review of its light-duty vehicle regulations and preliminary consultations under that review began last year. Environment and Climate Change Canada will make a final decision about the standards for the 2022-2025 period for light-duty vehicles only after completing that review, with full consideration of the costs and benefits of various regulatory options. In making this decision, the government will take into account the importance of the integrated North American auto market as well as uniquely Canadian circumstances.

  • In total, more than $5.6 billion in automotive sector investments have been announced in Canadian operations since 2015, creating and maintaining tens of thousands of good middle-class automotive jobs.

  • Today in California, one in ten new cars sold is a plug-in car, and half of all plug-in cars sold in the United States to date—almost 600,000—are in California.

  • California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard went into effect in 2011 and has helped make the state a leader in advanced clean fuels. To date, California has displaced 3.3 billion gallons of petroleum-based fuels with low-carbon alternatives, including renewable diesel, electricity and renewable natural gas.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

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