Canada, U.S., Mexico agree to 'continental approach' on clean energy
Josh Elliott, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, February 12, 2016 11:01AM EST
Last Updated Friday, February 12, 2016 11:38AM EST
Canada, the United States and Mexico agreed to greater clean energy co-operation in North America Friday, at a press conference interrupted by an anti-pipeline protester in Winnipeg.
Jim Carr, Canada's minister of natural resources, said Friday that the agreement "strengthens our collective energy security," while presenting "a bold vision for our continent."
The agreement will allow Canada, the U.S. and Mexico to work together on developing strategies to address low-carbon electricity, clean technologies, carbon capture, energy efficiency and oil and gas emissions.
Carr was joined by his Mexican and American counterparts in Winnipeg Friday, to announce they had signed a memorandum of understanding on climate change and clean energy.
"We can't risk being left out in the cold by global forces beyond our control," Carr said at a news conference to announce the agreement. "It allows us to think about continental energy integration in a new light."
The protester who interrupted the announcement called for Canada to "restore First Nations' veto power" over its pipeline projects. "We must leave 80 per cent of all fossil fuels in the ground to meet Trudeau's lofty goals that he agreed to in Paris," the young male protester added.
Carr acknowledged the protester's message, after the young man was escorted away from the delegates' table. "Our government not only tolerates dissent, it encourages dissent," the minister said. "People have the right to express their point of view respectfully and with civility always."
When asked about the protester later in the news conference, Carr said the federal government's temporary pipeline regulations are aimed at respecting First Nations' concerns. He added that the Liberals plan to "consult Canadians widely and broadly" as they work toward more permanent regulations going forward. "Indigenous communities are routinely consulted," he said.
Ernest Moniz, the U.S. secretary of energy, hailed the new Liberal government for its role in hammering out the clean energy agreement. "The tri-lateral relationship is certainly not missing a beat," he said. "If anything, I would say it's accelerating more."