Obama and Harper announce a clean energy pact between two nations
US President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announed today that they will work together as two nations to provide clean energy to both countries and to reduce climate change.
Obama said that they want to create clean fuels, which will generate less pollution and less carbon dioxide and that both nations need to come to an agreement to battle something that is affecting them both. This dialogue they are engaging in is the first step to creating a North American climate change treaty.
Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for warming the Earth. Carbon sequestration, which is not yet commercially viable, involves capturing the gas and storing it underground before it enters the atmosphere.
There has been some controversy recently over the Alberta oil sands as Obama wants to make them a clean source of energy and many environmentalists think that this will harm the environment more than save it.
Harper said that Canada has had a lot of difficulity lately trying to get a concrete plan to help the environment and that while the two countries' approaches to solve this problem are different, the targets are mostly the same. Both governments are making a large investment with carbon capture and storage, and they both want to develop an electricity grid to help provide electricity for both nations.
Canada will be watching what the US does to combat climate change and that they will want to work together as much as possible. Harper said that he is very optimistic that the US will provide leadership on a worldwide front.
Obama agreed with Harper and said that there were good economic reasons to address climate change and clean energy as well. It will also enhance their energy security and Obama recognized that Canada is the largest energy supplier to the United States. Obama said that they hope to be a global leader on this matter. If they could figure out how to capture carbon it would make a huge difference in how they can combat climte change, in Obama's opinion.
Obama recognized that participation from countries like China and India are critical on this issue because they are global leaders that need to regulate their energy use as well.