Automakers and the Canadian government plan to sign, perhaps as early as this week, an agreement committing the auto industry to cuts in vehicle emissions of greenhouse gases.
Details were not disclosed, but the deal provides for voluntary increases in fuel economy and changes to air-conditioning systems. It would trigger regulations if commitments are not met, sources said late last week.
Environmental groups had lobbied for California-style rules, mandating sharply higher fuel economy. Still, they declared victory. "It's pretty close to regulation, but not quite," said John Bennett, senior adviser for the Sierra Club of Canada.