Washington: President Barack Obama has said that the US needs to not only take the lead but also show leadership in clean energy, noting that countries like India and China would soon be the main emitters of green houses gas.
"We only have one planet and so I believe that ultimately we can both (US and Canada) promote economic development and growth, recognising that we're not going to immediately transition off of fossil fuels...
"We do have to point to the future and show leadership so that other countries who will be the main emitters fairly soon - China, India, other emerging markets - so that they can look at what we're doing and we have leverage over them in terms of them improving their practices as well," Obama said.
Obama was responding to a question at a joint news conference in Toluca, Mexico, along with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico at the end of the North American Summit Wednesday.
Harper agreed with Obama, saying "on the issue of climate change, Canada and the United States have similar targets at the international level. We already cooperate in several sectors in terms of emissions reductions."
Pena Nieto said the three leaders agreed to foster sustainable development, working towards the mitigation of the effects of climate change.
"We continue to deepen our clean-energy partnerships, which create jobs and combat climate change.?Yesterday, I announced that the US will develop new fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks - standards that reduce carbon pollution. And today, all three of our nations have agreed to work together to meet high fuel standards for these heavy-duty trucks," Obama said.
In joint statement, the three leaders said their countries will continue to work together to address climate change in pursuit of an ambitious and inclusive global agreement within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, while also collaborating through complementary mechanisms like the Major Economies Forum, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, and the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas.
"In addition, we will intensify our efforts to promote an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase-down production and consumption of climate-damaging hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)," the statement said.
Noting that energy is a trilateral priority, it said developing and securing affordable, clean and reliable energy supplies can drive economic growth and support sustainable development, as they shift towards a low carbon energy future.
"To build on recent progress in this area, our Energy Ministers will meet later in 2014 to discuss opportunities to promote common strategies on energy efficiency, infrastructure, innovation, renewable energy, unconventional energy sources, energy trade, and responsible resource development," the statement said.
First Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014, 13:43