Skip to content

US ambassador sees harmonized environmental and energy policies

The Toronto Star reports that, “Ambassador David Jacobson said he expects eventual progress towards harmonized environmental and energy policy between Canada and the U.S., but hurdles still remain to getting climate legislation through Congress.”

“Jacobson said that further progress (on harmonization) is predicated on first getting legislation through Congress.”

“While the Harper government has faced international condemnation over its environmental policies, particularly at last month’s global climate change summit at Copenhagen, Jacobson made clear that Washington is keen to pursue a common approach with Ottawa on the subject.”

(In fact, the United States has also been strongly criticized for its role in Copenhagen. For instance, Washington’s emissions reduction target is about 6 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. The Harper government has proposed a 3 percent reduction for Canada within this time frame. Science demands at least a 40 percent reduction.)

“Critics have accused Harper of slavishly awaiting the outcome of U.S. policy decisions on energy and the environment before deciding what Canada will do.”

“Last September, Harper told business leaders in New York that Canada was keen to harmonize efforts with the U.S. to reduce emissions and develop a cap-and-trade system for carbon.”

“When Obama visited Ottawa 11 months ago, the president and Prime Minister Stephen Harper opened a clean energy dialogue. Since then, Jacobson said, there have been many follow-up discussions with officials from both countries.”

For the campaign blog ‘Canada’s climate policies, free trade and deep integration’, please see http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2632.

The blog ‘Canada to follow U.S. lead at Copenhagen climate summit’ is at http://canadians.org/campaignblog/?p=2382.

For an excellent critique of US President Barack Obama’s role at the Copenhagen summit, see Jess Worth’s ‘Blood on the summit floor’ article in the January/ February issue of the New Internationalist.