Canada’s environment and climate change minister has said that Canada and the United States are now working towards a joint vehicle emissions standard.
Jonathan Wilkinson’s remarks came in a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the US president Joe Biden shared their first bilateral meeting, during which their shared goals to address climate change took the centre stage.
Shortly after the meeting, the two leaders announced that a high-level ministerial to handle the climate change would be formed between the countries.
Reportedly, the ministerial will coordinate cooperation between the countries to increase ambition aligned to the Paris Agreement and net-zero objectives, stated the joint document that was being released after the meeting.
It shall also explore the opportunities to align the policies and approaches to create jobs, while tackling climate change and inequality, and also enhancing adaptation and resilience to climate impacts.
On Wednesday, Jonathan Wilkinson met with U.S. special climate envoy John Kerry to begin that work.
Wilkinson said that it was a working meeting during which the pair had discussed how the countries can collaborate to accelerate the progress on climate change and to enhance the level of ambition on both sides of the border, but also on how they can learn from each other and perform different things.
He further added that it certainly includes things like working on vehicle emission standards for Canada and the U.S. again and looking to see how they can accelerate work to both enhance the energy efficiency of the existing types of vehicles that are being sold but also to see how they can accelerate the deployment of zero-emission technologies.
Wilkinson added that the two countries’ auto manufacturing sectors are completely integrated and that it makes way more sense for them to have incorporated standards concerning efficiency, concerning how they want to deploy zero-emissions technologies, than them working at odds.
While the vehicle emissions standards had been watered down by the former Trump administration, the Canadian government had committed to align with the highest possible standard which had been thereby imposed on California.
As per Wilkinson, he and Kerry had also discussed the methane regulations, and how to deal with large emitters during Wednesday’s meeting. He said that they have the same kinds of large emitters in both the countries, whether it is steel, cement, or oil, and gas facilities. Canada has started to work and they had a $3 billion find to work with those emitters in their recent climate plan, but there’s certainly more they can do.
Lastly, Wilkinson said that the countries need to find ways to move forward in a way such that it addresses the carbon issue but does so in a way that is going to ensure that there’s opportunities for all regions of Canada and all also all regions of the United States, which is something they’re very happy to engage on, he added.