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The US and Canada: let’s talk climate change

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World Pipelines,

Before Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was elected in October 2015, the relationship between the US and Canada was strained due to the opposing views on the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project. However, although Canada’s former Prime Minister Stephen Harper was an outspoken supporter, the pipeline project was eventually rejected by the Obama Administration.

Now though, the two nations’ relationship has changed. Trudeau and US President Barack Obama will be meeting on Thursday 10 March, with one of the topics to discuss focusing on global warming. The discussion and verdict will, as a result, affect future oil and gas developments.

Mark Feierstein, Senior Director for the Western Hemisphere at Obama’s National Security Council commented: “Prime Minister Trudeau is already showing serious, concrete commitment to accelerating progress on climate, as demonstrated by his meeting last week with the Canadian premiers, where they agreed to prioritise development of a pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate.”

At a press briefing on Tuesday 8 March, Obama’s climate negotiator Todd Stern explained that both Trudeau and Obama will most likely reaffirm their commitment to fight climate change. Specifically, reducing methane emissions produced from the oil and gas industry by 40 - 45% below 2012 levels by 2025. They also intend to endorse the World Bank’s Zero Routine Flaring initiative, which is attempting to stop the activity of burning natural gas that is released during oil production.Similarly, there has been hope among environmental parties that Trudeau will announce a new clean energy co-operation that will see the end of new Arctic oil and gas projects.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has been adamant that Obama and Trudeau stop future oil and gas development in the Arctic. Franz Matzner, Director of NRDC's Beyond Oil Initiative, stated: “We're looking at the dawn of a new level of co-operation between the two nations. One top priority, is the ban on Arctic drilling; put an end to oil and gas development in the Arctic entirely.”

Edited from various sources by Stephanie Roker

Sources: Huffington PostInternational Business Times, Bloomberg BNA, Global News

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