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Friday, May 14, 2021

THE POLITICAL FRONT: Three Amigos Summit

CORRECTION:  An article headlined “THE POLITICAL FRONT: Three Amigos Summit”  published online at westernfrontonline.com on Sunday, June 17 incorrectly stated that Bellingham has a coal industry that could be affected by a clean energy agreement discussed by President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto. The trains in Bellingham are used for coal exported to China and would not be affected by the agreement.

President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto have come together to set forth a new energy plan for the three countries. The continent-wide plan will aim to reduce emissions, increase the use of clean energy and drastically increase Canada’s electricity export.

 

 

At the North American leader’s summit in Ottawa, Canada, on Wednesday, June 29, the three leaders made a commitment to have 50 percent of all electricity across the continent come from clean energy sources by the year 2025. Currently, only 37 percent of energy in North America is clean energy. Solar, water and wind power are all examples of clean energy because they are sources of renewable energy that can be replenished by natural processes. They also plan to reduce methane emissions and greenhouse gasses by 45 percent, according to the International Business Times.

“This is the only planet we’ve got and this may be the last shot we’ve got to save it. And America and Canada are going to have to lead the way.”

President Obama

“This partnership will see our countries stand side by side as we work toward the common goal of a North America that is competitive, that encourages clean growth and that protects our shared environment now and for generations to come,” Trudeau said.

Canadian exports are set to increase as the U.S. aims to reduce all greenhouse gas emissions by 32 percent from 2005 by the year 2030. Currently, North America is responsible for 20 percent of the world’s methane emission.

“This is the only planet we’ve got and this may be the last shot we’ve got to save it. And America and Canada are going to have to lead the way,” Obama said after the summit.

The so-called Three Amigos summit comes six months after the Paris climate agreement was announced in December. A detailed list of plans are available on the U.S. Embassy & Consulates In Canada site.

The partnership success is in the hands of the next U.S. president since they will finalize the plan. According to the International Business Times, Hillary Clinton is likely to carry out the agreement, while Donald Trump is against the admission of global warming and has vowed to increase fossil fuel use in the U.S., as well as cancel all current efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

For many here in Bellingham, this could mean an end to the coal train dispute. If Bellingham is required to have at least half of its energy sources be clean energy, it may mean the coal industry here will be shut down. There are only two proposals left open for the construction of coal export terminals in Washington- one of which is in Bellingham. If this clean energy agreement stands, the proposal may be denied. However, until the November election, things are still up in the air.

A full statement from the three leaders can be found on the U.S. Embassy & Consulates In Mexico site.

 

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