North American ministers take step toward coordinated green strategy
WINNIPEG—Canada, the United States and Mexico have agreed to share information, maps and clean-energy innovations—a step toward a continental energy strategy that would include lower emissions and greater energy security.
Energy ministers from the three countries met for a day in Winnipeg and said they are making progress toward greater co-operation. U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz cited the new Liberal government in Canada, along with energy reforms in Mexico, as being part of a “revived relationship.”
“The trilateral relationship certainly is not missing a beat. If anything, I think it is accelerating even more with the very strong Canadian commitment in the areas of energy, environment and innovation,” he said Friday.
Moniz, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr and Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell signed a memorandum of understanding that commits the three countries to share information on climate-change adaptation, clean-energy technologies, low-carbon electricity and more.
The three ministers also announced that an earlier plan to map out the energy infrastructure across North America and include it in one place—a web platform—has been completed.
Carr said the three countries have a common understanding of what constitutes clean energy and share a commitment to sustainability.
“North America is truly on the same page on all of these issues. I think that it’s a happy alignment,” he said.
As the ministers were signing the agreement, a young man protesting the Energy East pipeline stood up and unfurled a small banner that read “Keep It In The Ground.” He was allowed to say his piece before he was escorted out by security.
The pipeline would move more than one million barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta through Central Canada to refineries in New Brunswick.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said a continental energy strategy will be up for discussion when he meets with President Barack Obama next month.
Some environmental groups hope the end result will be a firm climate-change agreement that would be as binding on individual countries as trade agreements are.
“It’s still early days, but if this agreement evolves into a continental climate pact that has the same kind of enforcement teeth as trade agreements have now, it will be a leap in the right direction,” Keith Stewart of Greenpeace Canada wrote in an email.