Canada, the U.S. and Mexico on Friday unveiled a framework to cooperate on clean-energy development and initiatives to fight climate change.
The preliminary information-sharing agreement, signed by energy ministers from each of the countries at a meeting in Winnipeg, Manitoba, comes as slumping oil and gas prices weigh heavily on resource-dependent economies globally.
“Our challenge even as we struggle with low oil and gas prices, deferred projects and painful job losses is to use this very low spot in the commodity cycle to make transformational change,” Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jim Carr said at a news conference. The goal is “to find that sweet spot between resource development and environmental stewardship.”
Mr. Carr was joined by U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz and Mexico’s secretary of energy, Pedro Joaquín Coldwell.
The agreement seeks increased cooperation on areas including emissions-reduction and carbon-capture projects. As part of the deal, the three countries agreed to form a centralized, Web-based database for energy-information sharing.
Mr. Carr said the deal marks a “continental approach” toward energy and aims to strengthen the countries’ collective energy security while focusing on the environment.
The three countries, along with 17 others, reached a so-called Mission Innovation agreement in November to double government investment in clean energy research and development and to spur private-sector investments in clean technology over the next five years.
Canada’s Liberal government, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has pledged to develop a national framework for provincial rules to cut carbon emissions. Ottawa recently unveiled interim measures that require pipeline projects to submit to carbon-emissions testing to gain approval.
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