The United States, Mexico, and Canada meet to reduce carbon emissions. The heads of these three states unveiled a broad plan to reduce carbon emissions during this year’s trilateral North American Leaders’ Summit, held on 2nd July 2016 in Ottawa. The leaders set an ambitious goal to generate half of North America’s energy from renewable sources over a decade. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a joint statement pledged to bring 50% of North America’s energy production over to “clean power generation”, from cleaner (non-emitting, or zero-carbon) sources. The most important in the plan is, it also calls for government operations to run entirely on clean energy sources within the same amount of time. It needs a mention here this will also require change or abolition in Canada’s requirement of visas for incoming Mexican nationals.
The plan mentions, the shift from conventional to green energy will come from solar, wind, hydropower, and energy efficiency, and using nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage technologies improvement and appropriation over the period of time. The present zero-carbon power level stands at about 37% collectively. White House climate adviser Brian Deese said, “We believe that this is an aggressive goal, but for all three countries one that we believe is achievable continent-wide, and it’s supported by domestic policies in all three countries. Now the focus on clean energy between our three countries is stronger than it has been in decades.” Also during this trilateral agreement, Mexico signed an agreement to bring down its methane emissions from the oil and gas sectors by 40 to 45% by 2025.
The North American power grid needs a lot of restructuring, improvements, and aligning to this new plan of renewable by 2025. Hence all the state heads have also focused a lot on transmission lines infrastructure in this plan, which was one of their main points on agenda. The United States last year drew around 32% of its power from non-fossil fuels but this included nuclear also. The US Energy Information Administration says the non-carbon power (green power) can rise up to 41% till the year 2025, out of this 18% will be by way of nuclear and 23% by renewable.
While concluding Mr. Trudeau said, “We will respond directly and decisively to the challenge of climate change, working together to make our own countries more resilient as we encourage others to do the same.”