Obama Announces Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas

As further evidence of the United States' commitment to international co-operation on climate change, President Obama recently announced the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas. The partnership, which was announced during the opening of the Fifth Summit of the Americas in Trinidad and Tobago on April 18th, attempts to "strengthen the foundation of our prosperity and our security and our environment through a new partnership on energy".

The President commented:

"[The Energy and Climate Partnership] will harness the vision and determination of countries like Mexico and Brazil that have already done outstanding work in this area to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Each country will bring its own unique resources and needs, so we will ensure that each country can maximize its strengths as we promote efficiency and improve our infrastructure, share technologies, support investments in renewable sources of energy. And in doing so, we can create the jobs of the future, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and make this hemisphere a model for cooperation".

The annoucement comes two days after the White House issued a press release confirming that the U.S. and Mexico would "strengthen and deepen bilateral cooperation by establishing the US-Mexico Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change". According to the press release:

"The Bilateral Framework will focus on: renewable energy, energy efficiency, adaptation, market mechanisms, forestry and land use, green jobs, low carbon energy technology development and capacity building. The framework will also build upon cooperation in the border region promoting efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to adapt to the local impacts of climate change in the region,, as well as to strengthen the reliability and flow of cross border electricity grids and by facilitating the ability of neighboring border states to work together to strengthen energy trade".

In a speech the same day as the inauguration of the new American President, Environment Minister Jim Prentice remarked that in order for the Canada to effectively address climate change, comparable efforts from all of the developed nations would be required. He stressed that "meaningful participation from all of the developing world led by the Big Five, the so-called Big Five of China, India, Brazil, South Africa and our NAFTA partner Mexico" must be secured.

With these recent announcements out of the United States, it appears that things are moving in that direction.