With Justin Trudeau seated next to him, US President Joe Biden (pictured) delivered the usual White House greeting that the United States has ‘no better friends in the world than Canada’. (Photo: The Canadian Press)
LOS ANGELES — Canada and California are progressive kindred spirits when it comes to climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday as he and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau unveiled a new plan to work together to avoid the worst. consequences of global warming.
The roadmap signed by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault and Environmental Protection Secretary Jared Blumenfeld, with their respective bosses behind them, goes further than a 2019 agreement to cut vehicle emissions, and will work to “deliver clean air and water, good jobs and healthy communities,” according to a joint statement.
MM. Trudeau and Newsom pointed to similarities in current policies in Canada and California, including efforts to ban harmful single-use plastics, commitments to clean electricity and healthy oceans, and the preservation of nature.
The agreement advances policy and regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollutants in both jurisdictions, as well as conservation measures and addressing the growing threat of wildfires.
And it will stand the test of time, Mr. Newsom said — no matter who is in power in the California governor’s mansion, the White House or the prime minister’s office.
California is a $3.3 trillion-a-year economy, he said, the fifth-largest in the world and a ‘stable partner’ whose efforts to address climate issues and pollution standards influence other states. and countries, including Canada, for decades.
“We weigh more than our weight,” Mr. Newsom said, arguing for regulatory reforms that have stood the test of time and fleeting trends in the electorate.
“We weigh a lot in the balance when it comes to low-carbon green growth, when it comes to efforts to change the way we produce and consume energy, no matter who is in the White House” , he continued.
Trudeau said Canada would always find favor with a partner who is willing to move forward and make progress on issues of common importance.
“Canada has always been a country that engages with the world, and whether it’s engaging with like-minded countries or like-minded states like California, we’re just here to move forward. things,” Trudeau said.
“When we find alignment on so many things — like we always have with California, but like we specifically did under the administration of Gavin Newsom — we jump at the chance,” added the former. minister.
Canada’s reputation as an oil-producing country
Mr. Trudeau has been a passionate champion of his government’s efforts to change the image of Canada from a country economically dependent on its fossil fuel resources to a champion in the fight against climate change.
It is precisely because of this reputation as an oil-producing country that Canada has additional credibility on climate issues, argued Mr. Trudeau.
“Making progress in the fight against climate change is really difficult for us. We have a thriving fossil fuel industry in our country at a time when the world continues to run on fossil fuels and will do so for many years to come,” he said.
“The fact that we are in this situation means that it is all the more important for us to step up (the efforts) and show real leadership in the fight against climate change, and that is exactly what we did,” said Mr. Trudeau.
Steven Guilbeault later described attending a Summit of the Americas meeting to document progress on the Global Commitment on Methane, an international effort to target one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
Canada is committed to reducing emissions of methane, which can be 20-80% more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2, by 30% by 2030, the minister said.
“We can get our money’s worth in terms of reducing emissions and preventing rising temperatures,” he said. If we reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030, that’s almost 0.5 degrees Celsius that we’re sucking out of the atmosphere.”
The fraternity between MM. Newsom and Trudeau, two progressive leaders in their early 50s who have a similar build, was evident from the moment they met on the steps of the California Science Center.
The duo chatted amiably and laughed out loud at each other’s jokes as they sat down for a brief lunch meeting ahead of their joint press conference, where Mr Newsom joked about Mr Trudeau’s popularity with of his staff, the lack of term limits in Canada and how he himself is a “future ex-Governor of California”.
Darker encounter with Joe Biden
Bonhomie and good humor gave way to a darker meeting later Thursday between Mr. Trudeau and US President Joe Biden in a cavernous meeting room at the Summit of the Americas.
Biden agreed at the meeting that he would finally make an in-person visit to Canada in the coming months, his first since becoming president amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
With Mr. Trudeau seated next to him, Mr. Biden gave the usual White House greeting that the United States has “no better friends in the world than Canada” and said that he and the Prime Minister shared a similar vision for the hemisphere.
“I think we both share the same feeling that the possibilities for our hemisphere are limitless,” Biden said, calling it “the most democratic hemisphere in the world.”
Mr Trudeau responded by saying it is “extremely important” that close partners like Canada and the United States are there for each other and for allies around the world.
“The work we can do to support, project and share our values is a way to truly help and impact citizens around the world,” Trudeau said.
This, he said, helps to make the case “that democracy is not only fairer, but also better for citizens, putting food on the table, putting the future in front of them”.
Trudeau was also scheduled to meet Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández on Thursday, as well as Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company.