Joint statement on North American Climate Leadership

Backgrounder

At the Global Climate Action Summit, on September 13 and 14, 2018, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, joined; the Governor of California, Jerry Brown; the Governor of Washington, Jay Inslee; the Governor of Hawaii, David Ige; and the Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rosselló, to endorse a joint statement on the North American Climate Leadership.

The leaders have made the following commitment:

To accelerate climate policy efforts across North America, Canada, Mexico and the U.S. Climate Alliance launched the North American Climate Leadership Dialogue at COP23, identifying a short list of topics to be addressed.  Delivering on that promise for closer cooperation, at today’s Global Climate Action Summit, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. Climate Alliance agreed to work together to achieve an ambitious climate agenda, and to report on our progress at the 2019 UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit.

To protect our communities from harmful pollution now, we will stand united in advancing improvements in efficiency, electrification and greenhouse gas emission performance of vehicles through information exchanges and collaboration.

Our jurisdictions are already leaders on zero-carbon energy.  We commit to go further, by reaffirming the commitment made at the North America Leaders’ Summit to work toward a goal of 50% of zero-carbon power generation by 2025 collectively across North America, working hand-in-hand with the private sector and beyond the borders of our membership.  Connecticut, Hawaii and New York join Canada and Mexico in the Powering Past Coal Alliance, and resolve to phase out traditional and avoid new coal power stations without operational carbon capture and storage.

Reductions of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) - namely methane, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), black carbon and ground-level ozone – can not only help achieve our climate and air quality objectives, but also have significant environmental, energy, economic and health benefits. Cost-effective solutions exist and can enhance economic opportunities in key-sectors. To drive down the emission of these harmful pollutants, Canada and Mexico accept the Short-Lived Climate Pollutant Challenge issued by the U.S. Climate Alliance, and we each agree to develop and implement ambitious short-lived climate pollutant reduction strategies.

We also recognize that we cannot achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement by reducing emissions from the electricity, transportation, and industrial sectors alone.  We must remove harmful carbon from our atmosphere as fast as possible.  We therefore resolve to manage natural and working lands to be a net sink of carbon; to protect and increase carbon storage capacity; and to integrate priority actions and pathways into GHG mitigation plans by 2020.  Maintaining natural and working lands protects the communities, economies, and ecosystems that depend on them, which in turn has significant co-benefits for climate mitigation and adaptation.

Given the importance of ecosystem services, we encourage collaborative efforts to build robust observations and modelling networks for mitigation and adaptation efforts, seeking a better integration of ocean observation systems and to foster complementary research on oceans and climate change, including the impacts of climate change on oceans and marine ecosystems.

We commit to increasing economic and socio-ecological resilience of coastal communities and marine ecosystems in the context of climate change through enhanced cooperation on ocean management, including among respective marine protected areas.

Cooperative efforts on market-based strategies for emissions reductions continue to drive innovation and grow economies while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We resolve to deepen our cooperation through existing platforms that seek to incorporate the cost of carbon pollution into decision-making.

We recognize the importance of the Social Cost of Carbon, a critical tool for assessing the damages associated with carbon pollution, and Canada and Mexico join the partnership between the U.S. Climate Alliance, Resources for the Future, and Climate Impact Lab in order to share information related to scientific progress to update the metric, and promote opportunities to use the Social Cost of Carbon appropriately across a wide range of policy applications.


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