Canada and United States discuss climate change, cross-border co-operation

·1 min read

One day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met virtually with US President Joe Biden in their first bi-lateral meeting, Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson met online with Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry to discuss shared priorities and moving toward more ambitious climate goals that are in alignment with the Paris Agreement and net-zero objectives.

Minister Wilkinson said priority areas include the auto manufacturing sectors, which are essentially “completely integrated” with a focus on achieving a zero emissions vehicle future, including the adoption of ambitious vehicle standards to improve fuel efficiency and reduce greenhouse gases from light duty and heavy duty vehicles. Other priority areas include reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector, jobs, expanding the use and production of clean electricity and placing a particular focus on the needs of those most vulnerable to climate change and “the health of our planet, our children and our grandchildren.”

The meeting included a discussion on how both countries can increase 2030 emissions reductions targets, Minister Wilkinson said. “We’ll be coming forward with a target that essentially fully examines all of those issues and is as ambitious as we possibly can be while being realistic.” He said Canada hopes to set a new target between 31 and 40 percent of 2005 levels, before the’ April 22 Earth Day Summit in the US.

In a post-meeting teleconference, Minister Wilkinson said he was pleased to be working in this direction again. “We’re better off when we work together.”

Lori Thompson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Manitoulin Expositor