‘Three Amigos’ cement commitments to slash emissions


The US, Canada and Mexico are taking climate-friendly strides as they agree to slash harmful emissions. US President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto met in Ottawa this week where they unveiled a first-ever trilateral commitment to reduce methane emissions from oil and gas sectors. These three countries are currently responsible for emitting a “disproportionate amount” of the climate change-accelerating gas, and agreed to slash their emissions by up to 45 per cent on 2012 levels by 2025. The three leaders also committed to generating 50 per cent of the region’s electricity from “clean power sources” by 2025. With some of the world’s most powerful leaders uniting behind climate ambition, this latest initiative could inspire even further global momentum to meet the targets cemented in the Paris Agreement swiftly, and bring countries another step closer to a 100 per cent clean energy future.


Key Points

  • This trilateral agreement is a major deal for the climate. Methane is a significant greenhouse gas in North America, and is also responsible for a number of health issues like nausea and headaches. By moving forward with this new proposal – and expanding on the progress made during Prime Minister Trudeau’s official visit to Washington last March – the US, Canada and Mexico could see a 20 year climate benefit equal to removing 85 million cars off the road.
  • These meetings could signal a new era in climate diplomacy. As Obama wraps up his final term in office, the US president has made a concerted effort to cement his climate legacy, while Canada’s prime minister is entering his first term and suggested he has aims of doing the same. Just months after they met in Washington to slash methane emissions, the two leaders are now bringing Mexico on board, sparking speculation President Obama may be grooming Prime Minister Trudeau to take over the reigns and help further lead the world towards a low carbon future.
  • With these three major leaders on board, now is the moment for the rest of the world to get on track. 2016 kicked off a wave of big moments for climate diplomacy, from meetings with the US and India to the G7 health agenda. With this latest climate agreement off the ground, the G20 in Beijing will be the next opportunity for leaders to add another jolt of momentum towards cementing their post-Paris climate legacy and phasing out support for fossil fuels for good.



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