Friends of the Earth Canada reaction to U.S. Canada joint statement on Climate, Energy and Arctic Leadership
(Ottawa, ON March 10, 2016) The U.S.-Canada joint statement contains some encouraging elements that can form the basis of bilateral action on climate change by the two countries. It is an important positive step forward but its spirit can be undermined by positions in on-going negotiations and the limited scale of global contributions needed from each country against their fair share contributions to global action. And it is dependent on carbon markets where across the board regulation of emitters is long past due along with immediate strategies for decarbonization.
On one long standing joint initiative, the U.S. and Canada affirmed their commitment to reduce use and emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), adopt a Montreal Protocol phasedown amendment for HFCs in 2016 and, upon adoption, to provide increased financial support to the Protocol’s Multilateral Fund to help developing countries implement a phase-down of HFCs.
“This financial support is a baby step towards the fair share contribution each country must make toward global climate protection efforts,” said Beatrice Olivastri, CEO Friends of the Earth Canada. “And, we’d like to see U.S.-Canada collaboration akin to the HFC initiative in dealing with shipping and aviation emissions.”
Both Shipping and Aviation, two sectors of importance to both countries, managed to duck commitments under the Paris Agreement. And both sectors are poised to grow rather than reduce emissions.
Even though The U.S.- Canada joint statement commits both countries to work together through the International Civil Aviation Organization to achieve “carbon neutral grow from international civil aviation”, words do not match recent action. Last month both countries supported a fuel economy standard for large aircraft that will do nothing to reduce emissions or even stem the rapid growth in aviation emissions. (link to icao reference)
“After 13 years of negotiations, ICAO is adopting a fuel economy standard that doesn’t require compliance until 2028 and even then, will achieve nothing,” said John Bennett, Senior Policy Advisor, Friends of the Earth Canada.
The fuel economy standard and the still to be determine basket of offset measures (also referred to in the statement) are to be presented to a high level of ICAO meeting this May in Montreal and approved at an Assembly of the members in October.
“Canada and the United States should work together to re-open the discussion of the fuel economy standard because it is inconsistent with the climate goals of both countries. They need to work hard to encourage world leaders to join them in demanding emission reductions from aviation,” said John Bennett.
For more information, call
John Bennett, Senior Policy Advisor, Friends of the Earth Canada 613 291 6888
Friends of the Earth Canada (www.foecanada.org) is the Canadian member of Friends of the Earth International, the world’s largest grassroots environmental network campaigning on today’s most urgent environmental and social issues.