Canada Proposing Joint Climate Change Pact to President-Elect Obama

Jose Michael

The Globe and Mail reports that Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper is proposing to strike a joint climate-change pact with president-elect Barack Obama. The initiative would seek to protect Alberta’s oil sands projects from US climate-change rules by offering a secure North American energy supply.

Key federal ministers issued the call for a climate-change pact Wednesday, less than 24 hours after Mr. Obama won his historic election victory, in a clear bid by Ottawa to carve out a key place for Canada on the new administration’s agenda.

Energy security has been a major issue in the US election, and Mr. Obama campaigned heavily on eliminating dependence on Middle East and Venezuelan oil. But he has also condemned the United States’s reliance on “dirty oil”—his advisers have specifically criticized the oil sands—and has promised tougher climate-change action.

A Canada-US climate-change pact could tie those issues together by adopting common standards and mechanisms such as a market-based emission trading system, while acknowledging the important contribution the oil sands make to North American supplies and the need to adopt technologies that would reduce oil sands emissions.

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