Canada, U.S. Agree on Climate, Energy, and Arctic Leadership

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Barack Obama announced an agreement on how to battle climate change.

The two leaders are committed to:

  • Implementing the Paris Agreement: Canada and the U.S. will work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, and commit to join and sign the Agreement as soon as feasible.  As we implement our respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the leaders also commit to, in 2016, completing mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the Paris Agreement and encouraging this approach with members of the G-20.  Each leader promised to work with provinces/states to “ensure the environmental integrity of  transfer units and to avoid double counting.”
  • Coordinated Domestic Climate Action: Building on a history of working together to reduce air emissions, Canada and the U.S., commit to take action to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, the world’s largest industrial methane source, in support of achieving our respective international climate change commitments. To set us on an ambitious and achievable path, the leaders commit to reduce methane emissions by 40-45 percent below 2012 levels by 2025 from the oil and gas sector, and explore new opportunities for additional methane reductions. The leaders also invite other countries to join the target or develop their own methane reduction goal. In order to achieve this they hope to regulate existing sources of methane in the oil and gas sector.
  • Advancing Climate Change Globally: Beyond the Paris Agreement and areas of coordinated domestic climate action, President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau underline the important opportunities to make further progress on climate action globally.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Barack Obama
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and President Barack Obama

The U.S. and Canada affirm their commitment to adopt a Montreal Protocol HFC phasedown amendment in 2016, and upon adoption to provide increased financial support to the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to help developing countries implement a phase-down. The U.S. and Canada will continue to support a range of activities that promote alternatives to high global warming potential HFCs and promote greener technologies, including in those countries facing challenges such as high ambient temperatures.

The leaders will work with other leaders in the G20 to help them reach their climate change goals by implementing regulations on fuel efficiency.  They will continue pursuing private sector commitments and voluntary mechanisms such as the Oil and Gas Methane Partnership.

  • Cooperation on clean energy:  Building on the strong and ongoing efforts by energy ministers under institutional arrangements such as the Canada-U.S. bilateral framework on energy cooperation, the North American Energy Ministers’ recent understanding on Climate Change and Energy Cooperation, Mission Innovation, the Clean Energy Ministerial, and the Regulatory Cooperation Council, the leaders reaffirm their commitment to working together to strengthen North American energy security, phase out fossil fuel subsidies, accelerate clean energy development to address climate change and to foster sustainable energy development and economic growth.  Specifically, the leaders pledge to enhance efforts in areas such as studying how to bring more renewable energy into the power grid, expanding the Energy Star program,  and developing a joint strategy for strengthening the North American electricity grid.
  • A shared Arctic leadership model: Beyond deepening cooperation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions – which will have an outsized impact on the long-term health of the global Arctic – President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau are announcing a new partnership to embrace the opportunities and to confront the challenges in the changing Arctic, with Indigenous and Northern partnerships, and responsible, science-based leadership. Arctic communities rest on the territories of Indigenous peoples, who possess a wealth of knowledge, distinct ways of life, and a richness of cultural diversity. It is home to natural marine, land and air migrations that know no borders. It is also the frontline of climate change. Acting for a shared future, we call on all Arctic nations and those with Arctic interests to embrace a new future for Arctic leadership, with our four objectives including establishing the low-impact shipping corridors, protecting Arctic fish, and a promise to take a science-based approach to oil and gas exploration, and measures to support strong Arctic  communities.

The statement ends pledging the continued cooperation between the two countries. “Canada and the U.S. commit to a regular bilateral dialogue to ensure progress towards the realization of these objectives, to continuing their strong cooperation on scientific work and research, and to advancing our shared Arctic leadership model through the Arctic Council.”