FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX,NS) June 29, 2016 – Catherine Abreu, Executive Director of Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada, reacts to the joint statement from North American leaders on climate and clean energy made today:
“It is heartening to see climate and clean energy at the core of North American leaders’ conversations today. Cooperation is essential to Canada, the United States, and Mexico cutting pollution as quickly as necessary to protect our most vulnerable communities and avoid global warming above 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Hopefully today marks the beginning of a continental strategy to build the modern economy we need to continue to prosper and create jobs in a world moving away from oil, coal, and gas.
Part of that strategy will rely on building a clean energy market, and the leaders’ commitment to beef up cross-border electricity transmission is a step in the right direction. CAN-Rac emphasizes the need for meaningful consultation with indigenous and impacted communities on all energy infrastructure projects, including those that aim to move or produce clean power.
Cleaning up our energy economy means getting off of fossil fuels, getting smarter about how we use energy, and getting on to clean electricity. The leaders agreed to invest in energy efficiency and to generate 50% of North America’s power supply using ‘clean’ sources by 2025 – the leaders’ definition of ‘clean’ includes nuclear and carbon capture and storage technologies. CAN-Rac maintains a vision of 100% renewable energy by 2050.
The cheapest energy is energy we don’t use, and so it is important that energy conservation is built into the leaders’ plans. Missing from today’s agreement is the decarbonization portion of the equation – a plan to shut down coal, oil and diesel -fired electricity generation across the continent.
Also missed was the opportunity for Canada to align with the United States and move up the date of its international climate commitment to 2025 from 2030. 2025 is a banner year for most of the resolutions made by North American leaders today. It is common sense for Canada to match its intended nationally determined contribution (INDC) to this timeline, and for Canada and the United States’ progress toward their goals to be assessed in parallel.
Today kickstarts a partnership that could significantly bolster North America’s ability to confront climate change and harness the opportunities presented by an emerging clean economy. We look forward to contributing to that partnership’s success.”
Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada
902 412 8953