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North American Leaders Announce Energy Plan

On June 29, 2016, the North American Climate, Energy, and Environment Partnership was announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barack Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto at the North American Leaders Summit in Ottawa, Canada. The three leaders publicly committed to see half of the continent’s electricity generated by clean sources by 2025—placing climate change at the center of the enduring Partnership. To learn more about the Partnership, read on!

The Partnership involves advancing clean and secure energy; driving down short-lived climate pollutants; promoting clean and efficient transportation; protecting nature and advancing science; and showing global leadership in addressing climate change. Major goals include:

  • Reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector 40-45 percent by 2025 towards achieving the greenhouse gas targets in the three countries’ intended nationally determined contributions as delineated in the Paris Agreement;
  • Working together to promote a common continental approach and reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gases, and achieve other important air-quality co-benefits of motor vehicles; and
  • Advancing clean energy development and deployment (including renewable, nuclear, and carbon capture and storage technologies).

Trudeau said, “it’s a partnership that lays out some very clear deliverables and that lays out clear paths for achieving them.” The three countries will work together to implement the Paris Agreement through their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) thereby reaffirming their commitment to join the Agreement this year, and calling on all nations to support its early entry into force in 2016.

INDCs are national post-2020 climate action commitments that countries intend to take under the Paris Agreement agreed in December 2015 at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21). After the Paris Agreement is ratified and comes into force, the INDCs become Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Ratification of the Agreement occurs on the 30th day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention accounting in total for at least an estimated 55 percent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification. As of today, 20 Parties of the 197 Parties to the Convention have ratified the Agreement and account for 0.40 percent of global GHG emissions.

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Sahir Surmeli

Member / Co-chair, Energy & Sustainability Practice

Sahir Surmeli is a Mintz business counselor who advises companies, boards, entrepreneurs, investment banks, and venture and private equity investors as they build and grow companies. He handles public offerings, 144A and private financings, acquisitions, joint ventures, and strategic partnerships.