US, Canada, Mexico pledge 50 percent clean power by 2025

By Jodi Delapaz

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WASHINGTON, July 7, 2016 - The North American Climate, Energy and Environment Partnership, announced by President Obama, Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto last week in Ottawa, intends to achieve 50 percent clean power generation in North America by 2025.

Strategies to achieve the goal include renewables, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage technologies, as well as demand reduction through energy efficiency. The plan also intends to advance “secure energy,” such as strengthening the reliability, resilience and security of the North American electricity grid.

Each country will undertake actions individually to achieve the regional goal in accordance with their own conditions, specific legal frameworks and clean energy national goals.

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Climate and environmental goals are also addressed in the agreement, with leadership engaged in, among other things, climate adaption planning and action and the aligning of analytical methods for assessing and communicating the impact of greenhouse gas emissions of major projects.

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The plan to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gasses includes methods such as promoting green building technology and fostering clean, efficient transportation technologies and policies, such as the implementation of green freight best practices.

The partnership also pledged to “encourage robust action” by the G-20 group of the world's major economies including:

·         Phasing out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 in keeping with the G-20's 2009 commitment to do so in the medium term, as Canada, the United States and Mexico affirm their own commitment to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by 2025 and provide targeted support for the poorest communities.

·         Developing low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the Paris Agreement by 2020.

·         Committing to improve the environmental performance of heavy-duty vehicles, including through the implementation of stringent domestic regulations on fuel efficiency and/or greenhouse gas emissions, air pollutant emissions, and low-sulfur fuels and through green freight programs.

·         Addressing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by developing and implementing national and sub-national methane reduction policies and regulations, and participating in mechanisms such as the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas Methane Partnership. These actions could support future steps toward adopting national emission reductions targets, where appropriate.

“We recognize that our highly integrated economies and energy systems afford a tremendous opportunity to harness growth in our continuing transition to a clean energy economy. Our actions to align climate and energy policies will protect human health and help level the playing field for our businesses, households and workers,” the leaders said. “In recognition of our close ties and shared vision, we commit today to an ambitious and enduring North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership that sets us firmly on the path to a more sustainable future. For more details on the Action Plan, click here. To see the leaders' statement, click here.

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