North American leaders to set clean-energy target, discuss Brexit cushion

two amigosThe leaders of North America will set a continent-wide target of 50-per-cent clean-energy power by 2025 as part of a comprehensive plan to combat global warming when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hosts the Three Amigos summit on Wednesday.

In a White House briefing on Monday, senior U.S. officials said the leaders will also discuss how North America can insulate itself from the economic fallout of the Brexit referendum.

U.S. and Canadian officials say the leaders of Canada, the United States and Mexico will also lay out specific steps on the environment, from integration of electricity transmission lines to sweeping measures on clean energy.

“We will announce a historical goal to achieve 50-per-cent clean power across North American by 2025,” U.S. President Barack Obama’s senior adviser, Brian Deese, told reporters.

“That will be through a combination of renewable energy, nuclear power, power plants using carbon-capture storage and cutting energy waste through increased efficiency.”

North America currently generates 37 per cent of its energy from clean power, although Canada produces 81 per cent domestically, the United States generates 32 per cent and Mexico comes in at 18 per cent.

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, who arrived in Canada on Monday, indicated that Mexico favours joining a cap-and-trade system that was established by California, Ontario and Quebec.

“Quebec is a landmark in the world, as well as Ontario and California, and it is very likely that Mexico, on its part, will do its share to be part of this carbon market,” he said on his arrival in Quebec City, where he met Governor-General David Johnston and Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard.

Mexico will also sign on to a Canada-United States pact agreed to in March to cut methane gases in the oil and gas sector by 45 per cent by 2025.

“We will bring all three North American countries in alignment,” Mr. Deese said. “If we achieve these goals of a 45-per-cent reduction, we will reduce approximately one million metric tonnes of methane emissions per year by 2025.”

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