The US and Canada have taken strong strides towards creating a low carbon economy, cementing a number of climate-friendly agreements today.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau – who is in Washington this week for the first official visit from a Canadian federal leader in nearly 20 years – agreed with President Barack Obama to significantly slash dangerous methane emissions.
The two leaders also pledged to implement plans for Arctic conservation and to insulate against climate-fueled damages to the region, while protecting Indigenous peoples living on the frontlines of those impacts.
With the two of the world’s most influential leaders stepping up to meet their Paris climate pledges, all eyes will be on their international colleagues – especially those who also have a stake in the Arctic – to ramp up their contribution towards the ongoing transition to a 100 per cent clean energy future.
- This bilateral agreement is a big deal for the climate. Methane is a significant greenhouse gas emitter in the US and in Canada, and is also responsible for a number of health issues like nausea and headaches. By agreeing to put forth this new proposal, when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the US and Canada would be slashing the equivalent in emissions from a third of the world’s coal plants.
- The Obama-Trudeau meeting signals a new era in climate diplomacy. Trudeau aggressively campaigned for “real change” on climate, and after ousting 10 years of Conservative leadership from office, the people he represents are holding him to his word. While Trudeau still has a lot to prove when it comes to his position on pipelines, two major world leaders aligning their progressive vision for a low carbon future is another significant step.
- With these two major leaders on board, now is the moment for the rest of the world to get on track. South of the US border, Mexico has an opportunity to get in on the action when all three North American nations strive to partner on climate later this year. Meetings at the G7 in Japan, the G20 in Beijing and China’s highly anticipated five year plan, are all other big moments for nations to cement their post-Paris climate legacy.