In The Media

North American leaders to pledge more reliance on renewables

by Peter Weaver (feat. Colin Robertson)

Voice Observer
June 29, 2016

A White House adviser said Monday that they will focus on a North American-wide commitment to cut methane emissions and release what the adviser says will be a comprehensive North American climate, clean energy and environment partnership.

In return, President Enrique Pena Nieto said Mexico would allow expanded imports of Canadian beef starting in October, ending 13 years of restrictions imposed after a case of mad cow disease was discovered in Canada.

While the Conservatives said it was necessary to keep out "bogus" refugees, it quickly became a barrier to relations between Canada and Mexico.

Trudeau and Pena Nieto are expected to pick Obama's brain about the upcoming USA presidential election, with an eye toward dealing with President Clinton or President Trump.

But he says this year's gathering is especially important. The U.S. uses far more electricity than its North American neighbors combined.

He also reportedly said that the leaders will unveil new pacts to facilitate the trading and transmission of clean energy across North America.

Canada has over 80 per cent clean electricity generation by this measure (North America as a whole is at 37 per cent), so Canada could be in a position to export more power than it now does to the United States. On the visa issue, one third of Canadians say it should be lifted, while one third say it should not; a quarter are uncertain.

Gwynne Taraska, associate director of energy policy at the Center for American Progress and a co-author of the report, said one of the key elements for averting unsafe warming is that countries must meet current climate goals while also setting more ambitious targets for the future.

Of the softwood lumber dispute, former Canadian diplomat Colin Robertson, now vice-president of the Canadian Global Affairs Institute, said: "In the past this has been a real friction point for Canada and the U.S. This is one you would prefer to put behind us".

About 96,000 Mexicans live in Canada while Mexico is home to 60,000 Canadians. "In all three countries, there is a significant move toward a clean energy economy".

Canada already generates 81 per cent of its energy from clean sources.

But the Mexican president was forced to confront the carnage from his country's decade-old war on drugs that Amnesty says has left 27,000 Mexicans unaccounted for, or "disappeared". About 60,000 Canadians make his country home, Pena Nieto said. "However, I think we are moving in the right direction towards having human rights being fully respected (in Mexico)", he said after a meeting with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard in Quebec City, where he stopped earlier in the day, before arriving in Toronto.

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