Canada and California partner for climate action and nature protection

LOS ANGELES — Canada and California are kindred progressive minds on climate change, the governor said.

LOS ANGELES — Canada and California are kindred progressive minds on climate change, Governor Gavin Newsom said Thursday as he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a new plan to work together to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. .

The framework signed by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Environmental Protection Secretary Jared Blumenfeld, their respective bosses behind them, includes modest extensions of a similar 2019 agreement.

It also advances policy and regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in both jurisdictions, as well as conservation measures and addressing the growing threat of wildfires.

And it will stand the test of time, Newsom said — no matter who is in power in the California governor’s mansion, the White House or the prime minister’s office.

California is a $3.3 trillion-a-year economy, he said — the fifth-largest in the world and a “stable partner” whose efforts to address climate issues and pollution standards influence other states and countries, including Canada, for decades.

“We weigh above our weight,” Newsom said, describing the state as a “stable partner” whose regulatory reforms have stood the test of time and the political whims of the electorate.

“We carry a lot of weight when it comes to low-carbon green growth, when it comes to efforts to change the way we produce and consume energy, no matter who’s in the White House.”

Trudeau said Canada would always find favor with a partner who is willing to make progress on issues of common importance.

“Canada has always been a country that engages with the world, and whether it’s engaging with like-minded countries or like-minded states like California, we’re just here to move forward. things,” Trudeau said.

“When we find alignment on so many things — like we always have with California, but like we have specifically under the administration of Gavin Newsom — we jump on it.”

Trudeau passionately defended his government’s efforts to rebrand Canada, a country economically dependent on its fossil fuel resources, as a champion in the fight against climate change.

It is precisely because of this reputation as an oil-producing country that Canada has additional credibility on climate issues, Trudeau said.

“Moving forward on climate change is really difficult for us. We have a thriving fossil fuel industry in our country at a time when the world continues to run on fossil fuels and will do so for many years to come,” he said. .

“The fact that we have this means that it is all the more important for us to step up and show real leadership in the fight against climate change, and that is exactly what we have done. ”

Guilbeault later described attending a Summit of the Americas meeting to document the progress of the Global Methane Pledge, an international effort to target one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

Canada has pledged to cut emissions of methane, which can be 20-80% worse for the atmosphere than CO2, by 30% by 2030, Guilbeault said.

“We can get what we pay for in terms of reducing emissions and preventing rising temperatures,” he said.

“If we cut global methane emissions by 30% by 2030, that’s 0.5C we’re sucking out of the atmosphere. Less warming means less climate change.”

The brotherhood between Newsom and Trudeau, two progressive leaders in their early 50s who cut a similar figure, was evident from the moment they met on the steps of the California Science Center.

The couple chatted and laughed out loud at each other’s jokes as they sat down for a brief lunch meeting ahead of their joint press conference, where Newsom joked about Trudeau’s popularity with his staff, the lack of term limits in Canada and how he himself is a “future ex-governor of California.”

The bonhomie gave way to a darker meeting later Thursday between Trudeau and US President Joe Biden at the Summit of the Americas.

Biden agreed at that meeting that he would finally make an in-person visit to Canada in the coming months, his first since becoming president amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

With Trudeau seated next to him, Biden delivered the standard White House greeting that the United States had “no better friend in the world than Canada” and said he and the prime minister shared a vision. similar for the hemisphere.

“I think we both share the same feeling that the possibilities for our hemisphere are limitless,” Biden said, calling it “the most democratic hemisphere in the world.”

Trudeau responded by saying it’s “extremely important” that close partners like Canada and the United States are there for each other and for allies around the world.

“The work we can do to uphold, project and share our values ​​is a way to truly support and impact citizens around the world,” Trudeau said.

This, he said, helps to make the case “that democracy is not only fairer, but also better for citizens, putting food on the table, putting the future in front of them”.

The official reading of the federal government meeting mentioned their mutual support for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, and that Trudeau also referred to Canada’s support for NATO and the plan to modernize the continental defense system known as Norad’s name.

Trudeau also “expressed support” for Biden’s proposed hemispheric “Partnership for Economic Prosperity,” but the reading did not mention whether Canada had been invited to participate.

Trudeau also pledged to work closely with the United States and other partners “to address current humanitarian assistance, protection, and irregular migration challenges in the region.”

They also discussed supply chains and cooperation to secure critical minerals.

The White House reading went further, saying the pair ‘discussed the potential for development of critical minerals in both countries’, as well as ‘joint efforts’ to protect supply chains from ‘external shocks’. “.

Trudeau also argued that U.S. duties on Canadian lumber “put additional pressure on prices and affordability of homes.”

Trudeau also spoke Thursday with the President of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, before sitting down with Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company.

Argentina and Canada have a lot of “common ground” on shared values, including climate change and gender equality, Fernández said.

“Canada is a great country and has a great prime minister,” he said. “We have a lot to do together.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on June 9, 2022.

James McCarten, The Canadian Press

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