Renewed Canada-United States commitment on climate and nature ambition

Since 2021, Canada and the United States have closely partnered on climate and environmental action, generating positive opportunities for both countries through bilateral collaboration. Today at COP 28, under the auspices of the U.S.-Canada High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change, both countries commit to renew and accelerate their joint efforts to combat the climate crisis and to increase economic benefits from collaboration.

Implementing clean electricity commitments

To help achieve their respective ambitious 2035 clean power commitments, both countries have proposed draft regulations and advanced other measures to cut greenhouse gas emissions in their respective electricity sectors. Canada has recently published its draft Clean Electricity Regulations and has offered more than C$40 billion in investment tax credits, strategic finance and targeted programs funding, over the next decade, to support the clean electricity sector. The United States released draft rules to limit greenhouse gas emissions from power plants earlier this year, and announced massive investments for clean electricity through the Inflation Reduction Act.

These announcements build upon successful efforts to phase down unabated coal power generation over the last decade. At COP 28, the United States announced that it will join Canada and 59 other countries in the Powering Past Coal Alliance. Both countries intend to continue to deepen collaboration among U.S. states and Canadian provinces around interregional system planning, transmission development, and clean energy procurement.

Reducing methane emissions

At COP 28, both countries reaffirmed their respective commitments to rapidly reduce methane emissions in line with achieving the Global Methane Pledge and limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Canada announced a draft regulation on reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, which will reduce emissions from the sector by at least 75% below 2012 levels by 2030, spurring innovation and advancing competitiveness opportunities. The draft regulation proposes more stringent performance standards, a risk-based approach for leak detection and repair, and increases the stringency for sites at highest risk of unintentional releases. Canada’s actions to reduce oil and gas methane emissions also include complementary measures to address offshore emissions, and possible multi-sector air regulations to address emissions from various sources. Collectively, these efforts will eliminate the vast majority of methane emissions from new and existing upstream oil and gas sources.

Also at COP 28, the United States announced a final rule that will sharply reduce methane and other harmful air pollutants from the oil and natural gas industry, which is expected to achieve a nearly 80-percent reduction in methane emissions, preventing an estimated 58 million tons of methane emissions from 2024 to 2038, the equivalent of 1.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. Additionally, the United States has released a Methane Emissions Reduction Action Plan detailing over 100 actions taken in 2023 alone to reduce methane emissions, across the electricity, agriculture, buildings, and industrial sectors.

In developing and implementing their respective oil and gas methane regulations, the United States and Canada intend to share information and explore opportunities for alignment between requirements where beneficial. Collectively these efforts aim to deliver economic benefits, enhance industry competitiveness and spur innovation.

Both countries commit to continue to improve the accuracy of measurement and reporting of emissions from the oil and gas sector, allowing importers to understand and mitigate the global emissions associated with the energy they consume. Both countries recognize that pollution from oil and gas activities occurs in or near some communities that are often low-income communities, indigenous and Tribal communities, and communities with large numbers of people of color, which are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Reduction of these pollutants will provide a range of health benefits for communities, addressing significant environmental justice concerns.

Canada and the United States are also committed to increasing investment in and adoption of clean technology and best-in-class solutions to reduce methane emissions from the waste sector and affirm the 2023 North American Leaders Summit goal to reduce methane emissions from the solid waste and wastewater sector by at least 15% by 2030 from 2020 levels.

The United States and Canada will work together to accelerate methane mitigation internationally, including through the U.S. role as co-convenor of the Global Methane Pledge and Canada’s role as a Global Methane Pledge Champion.

Accelerating carbon management

Canada and the United States continue to implement carbon management policies and incentives – including carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) and carbon dioxide removal (CDR). The United States and Canada intend to continue to collaborate to ensure a competitive environment for responsible deployment of CCUS and CDR solutions with a high degree of integrity, transparency, and accountability while fostering opportunities through the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Energy Cooperation between the U.S. Department of Energy and Natural Resources Canada; co-leadership of the Mission Innovation CDR Mission, which aims to enable global net removals of 100 million metric tons CO2 per year by 2030; and co-sponsorship of a Carbon Management Challenge to accelerate carbon management as a necessary complement to other required mitigation efforts to keep 1.5°C within reach.

Reducing embodied carbon in construction materials

The United States and Canada commit to advance a “Buy Clean” ambition to leverage national government procurement to promote the use of low-carbon construction materials and design. This work will support well-paying manufacturing jobs in Canada and the United States, spur innovation and growth, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector as we invest in the clean energy economy and meeting our climate goals. Over the next 12 months, both countries intend to continue to send a demand signal for Buy Clean materials and design by working in collaboration with industry stakeholders to develop a coordinated approach on metrics, methodology, and standards.

Promoting trade in low-emissions goods

Canada and the United States continue working together to promote North American trade of low-emissions goods, such as steel, aluminum and the critical mineral supply chain. This includes supporting investments in mining and critical minerals and sharing information on carbon intensity data and working together on common approaches to mitigate carbon leakage. Through this collaboration, Canada and the United States intend to work to protect businesses, workers and communities in both countries from unfair trade by countries failing to take strong climate action.

Advancing transportation decarbonization

The United States and Canada have set strong 2030 market share goals for Zero Emission Vehicles. Both countries are pursuing regulations to advance transportation electrification and save consumers money. Canada and the United States intend to continue to work together to harmonize standards to support the adoption of Zero Emission Vehicles and cleaner fuels. This includes electric vehicle charging infrastructure and clean fuels.

Accounting for the social cost of carbon

Both countries have taken decisive action to better align on measuring the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions. In April 2023, Canada published its updated social cost of carbon starting at $261 CAD per ton, which is now used in Canada’s regulatory impact analysis process. In its final methane regulation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized updated values for the social cost of greenhouse gas emissions to inform its future rulemakings.

Improving environmental and impact assessment processes for major projects

Both countries are working to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their respective environmental and impact assessment processes for major projects. They commit to sharing best practices, including by supporting the use of science-based decision-making, engagement with local, Indigenous and Tribal communities, and enhancing transparency, notification and public participation measures.

Conserving, restoring, and sustainably managing forests

Canada and the United States reaffirm our international commitment to working collectively to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030, including through the Forest and Climate Leaders’ Partnership, with a focus on actions and policies to address forest loss. Both countries commit to engaging with States, Provinces and Territories, and Indigenous and Tribal government partners, to conserve, restore, and sustainably manage forests, while supporting and advancing climate-smart forestry, sustainable forest products, and carbon accounting and reporting using the best available science. The U.S. and Canada will collaborate on measures and approaches to increasing innovation, sustainability, and circularity in forest products, including through development of the bioeconomy.

Protecting nature and oceans

Canada and the United States intend to continue to work to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030 and put nature on a path to recovery by 2050. Canada and the United States jointly commit to sustainably manage 100% of the ocean under their national jurisdictions. Both countries commit to halt the net loss, and restore coastal and marine ecosystems, while using nature-based solutions in planning and developing coastal infrastructure.

In December 2022, governments around the world met in Montreal to adopt to the ambitious Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which lays out a shared pathway to halt and reverse biodiversity loss by 2030, including by conserving 30% of lands and oceans by 2030 and supporting nature-positive actions.

Canada and the United States will work to achieve these goals by 2030, and work towards living in harmony with nature by 2050. To better quantify and value natural assets, Canada announced, at COP 28, that it will work with the United States on an accounting framework for the valuation of nature, natural infrastructure, and natural assets.

Canada and the United States will continue to work together to protect biodiverse areas that span the shared border of the two nations, including in collaboration with Indigenous and Tribal partners.

Both countries intend to continue collaboration to establish green shipping corridors, including through work in the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Clean energy transformation

The Energy Transformation Task Force (ETTF) has been meeting since its launch by Prime Minister Trudeau and President Biden in Spring 2023. The Task Force drives progress towards ensuring secure and resilient Canada-U.S. supply chains that are essential for a clean economy. Work together has enhanced shared priorities on critical minerals, nuclear fuel, and green steel and aluminum. Multiple agreements between the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy with Canadian-based companies demonstrate the close collaboration between the two countries on critical minerals and the clean energy transformation. Both countries commit to collaborating on approaches to promote an integrated approach to trade in green steel and aluminum. In addition, both countries are committed to supporting the development of critical mineral supplies needed for the clean energy transition.

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