June 30, 2016 Read More →

In ‘Three Amigos’ Energy-Transition Agreement, North America Grows Closer as Europe Fractures

Jean Chemnick and Emily Holden for E&E:

North America’s energy politics got a little more intertwined yesterday as President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto agreed to green the continent’s power and petroleum sectors and present a joint front across a range of international negotiations.

Environmental activists, many of whom are still grappling with the climate impacts of Britain’s exit from the European Union, hailed the air of cooperation at the North American Leaders’ Summit.

“As Europe is disintegrating, North America is integrating, and it’s integrating in a way that I think provides real and substantive and tangible benefits to the citizens of the three countries,” said Drew Nelson, senior manager for natural gas at the Environmental Defense Fund, in an interview from Ottawa, Ontario, where the gathering took place.

Full article: 7 questions about the ‘Three Amigos’ energy deal

Molly Christian for SNL:

To achieve these priorities, the U.S., Canada and Mexico will align 10 efficiency standards or equipment test procedures by the end of 2019. They will also collaborate on cross-border transmission lines, including six proposed or pending projects that will add about 5,000 MW of capacity. The countries will identify joint research and demonstration activities in areas such as grid and energy storage, methane emissions cuts, carbon capture and storage, and building energy efficiency. As part of the pact, the U.S. General Services Administration, which manages 9,600 federally owned and leased buildings, will commit to procuring all its energy from clean sources by 2025. The U.S., Canada and Mexico also vowed to “phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies” by 2025 and call on other G-20 members to do the same.

The White House said existing initiatives and policies will help North American reach the 50%-by-2025 threshold. Mexico’s Energy Transition Law requires the country to increase its clean energy output to 35% by 2024, nearly double the current share, and Canada is taking action to grow renewable and hydroelectric generation. The U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan and recent extensions to federal wind and solar tax credits are expected to help lift the country’s share of renewable and nuclear output to 43% by 2025.

Although more work is needed to meet the new objectives, there are “realistic paths to achieving them,” Trudeau said.

Full article: North American leaders assure feasibility of new clean energy target

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