At a North American summit Monday in Guadalajara, Mexico, U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexican President Felipe Calderon, and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper released a statement on climate change:
North American Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change and Clean Energy
We, the leaders of North America, reaffirm the urgency and necessity of taking aggressive action on climate change. We stress that the experience developed during the last 15 years in the North American region on environmental cooperation, sustainable development, and clean energy research, development, and deployment constitutes a valuable platform for climate change action, and we resolve to make use of the opportunities offered by existing bilateral and trilateral institutions.
We recognize the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-industrial levels ought not to exceed 2 degrees C, we support a global goal of reducing global emissions by at least 50% compared to 1990 or more recent years by 2050, with developed countries reducing emissions by at least 80% compared to 1990 or more recent years by 2050.
We share a vision for a low-carbon North America, which we believe will strengthen the political momentum behind a successful outcome at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC meeting this December, and support our national and global efforts to combat climate change. To achieve our low-carbon development goals, and consistent with our respective circumstances and capacities, we agree to the following:
- We will work together as we set and implement our own ambitious mid-term and long-term goals to reduce national and North American emissions;
- We will work together to develop our respective low-carbon growth plans;
- We underscore the importance of developing and strengthening financial instruments to support mitigation and adaptation actions and welcome in this regard the proposal by Mexico of a Green Fund. We will conduct further work on the proposal and will consider other views presented for scaling-up financing from both public and private sources;
- We will cooperate and exchange experiences in climate change adaptation in order to better integrate adaptation into national, sub-national, and sectoral planning to reduce vulnerabilities to climate change;
- We will develop comparable approaches to measuring, reporting, and verifying emissions reductions, including cooperating in implementing facility-level greenhouse gas reporting throughout the region;
- We will build capacity and infrastructure with a view to facilitate future cooperation in emissions trading systems, building on our current respective work in this area; and
- We will collaborate on climate friendly and low-carbon technologies, including building a smart grid in North America for more efficient and reliable electricity inter-connections, as well as regional cooperation on carbon capture and storage.
- Working in key sectors can help accomplish our emission reduction goals. With this in mind, we will:
- Work together under the Montreal Protocol to phase down the use of HFCs and bring about significant reductions of this potent greenhouse gas;
- Cooperate in sustainably managing our landscapes for GHG benefits, including protecting and enhancing our forests, wetlands, croplands and other carbon sinks, as well asdeveloping appropriate methodologies to quantify, manage and implement programs for emission reductions in this sector;
- Reduce transportation emissions, including by striving to achieve carbon-neutral growth in the North American aviation sector in the context of global action;
- Pursue a framework to align energy efficiency standards in the three countries in support of improved national energy efficiency and environmental objectives; and
- Work to reduce GHG emissions in the oil and gas sector, and promote best practices in reducing fugitive emissions and the venting and flaring of natural gas.
In order to facilitate these actions, we will work cooperatively to develop and follow up on a Trilateral Working Plan and submit a report of results at our next North American Leaders Summit in 2010.