North American Leaders Announce Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership

On June 29, 2016, President Obama, Prime Minister Trudeau, and President Nieto announced the North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership at the North American Leaders Summit.  According to President Obama, the “ambitious and enduring” Partnership will see the United States, Canada, and Mexico “work toward the common goal of a North America that is competitive, that encourages clean growth, and that protects our shared environment.”[1]

Key features of the Partnership include:

  • Participation in the Paris Agreement, a United Nations agreement that aims to keep global warming below 2°C through the development of low greenhouse gas emission strategies.
  • Achievement of 50% clean power generation for North America by 2025 – what President Obama called a “bold” but “imminently achievable goal” – through a range of initiatives, including 5,000 megawatts of cross-border transmission projects to facilitate the deployment of clean power.
  • Reduction of methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40-45% by 2025 through the development and implementation of federal regulations, programs, and policies.
  • Reduction of black carbon emissions by implementing heavy-duty vehicle diesel fuel and exhaust emissions standards by 2018 and deploying renewable energy alternatives to diesel, coal, or firewood.
  • Promotion of clean and efficient transportation through emission reduction standards for heavy-duty and light-duty vehicles and maritime shipping.
  • Conservation efforts aimed at migratory species and ocean management.
  • Completion of the inefficient fossil fuel subsidies phase out by 2025, agreed to as part of the G-20’s 2009 commitment.

In addition to these overarching goals, the United States also specifically committed to purchase more clean energy for federal facilities and government vehicles and seek to finalize a rule to prohibit the use of certain high-global warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.

While the White House Climate Advisor called the Partnership targets “achievable continent-wide” and “supported by domestic policies,”[2] only time will tell if all three countries will be able to implement the programs and pass the regulations needed to meet the ambitious Partnership goals.

 


[1]               Katie Reilly, Read the Remarks from the ‘Three Amigos’ Summit Press Conference, available at http://time.com/4388789/three-amigos-summit-transcript-obama-nieto-trudeau/ (June 29, 2016).

[2]               Press Release, available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/29/press-gaggle-press-secretary-josh-earnest-and-senior-advisor-president (June 29, 2016).

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