Canada, the US and Mexico to partner on energy

The agreement signed late last month may be the beginning of a new era of collaboration on climate change as the three North American countries signed an agreement to push cleantech and fight climate change.

To the Globe and Mail:

U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in Ottawa on Wednesday and joined Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for the so-called Three Amigos summit, with a major focus on co-operation on energy and climate change.

The agreement was reached before the leaders even sat down, and largely brings Mexico into a bilateral plan reached during Mr. Trudeau’s visit to Washington in March, although with some new elements.

“This partnership will see our countries stand side by side as we work toward the common goal of a North America that is competitive, that encourages clean growth and that protects our shared environment now and for generations to come,” Mr. Trudeau said at a joint news conference at the National Gallery in Ottawa, a few blocks from Parliament Hill.

“Today’s climate agreement stands as proof that co-operation pays off and that working together always beats going it alone.”

The share of low carbon electricity – renewables and nuclear combined – will rise from the current 37 percent to 50 percent by 2025.

Large disparities exist between the countries as Canada already have 80 percent of its electricity from low carbon sources, The United States have less than a third of their electricity from nuclear and renewables combined. Currently, the United States produce 75 percent of the electricity of the region.Last but not least, Mexico has less than a fifth of its electricity from renewables.

So moving the needle from the 37 percent to 50 percent will be a huge move, especially for the US and Mexico. This will be done with an all of the above strategy, including energy efficiency and even carbon capture and storage. But this point is not exactly the one I would bank the most on, as per the article I published two weeks ago

This move will also make sure the three grids are more interconnected, a critical move to ensure that low carbon electrons move freely from one country to the other. This will be a stark change from the current situation as the US and Mexican grid only communicate in three places. As per the EIA :

U.S. electricity trade with Mexico represents a small fraction—less than a hundredth of a percent—of total U.S. electricity use. A small amount of electricity trade with Mexico exists in California, New Mexico, and Texas, where transmission lines cross the border.

Last but not least, the signed agreement is particularly exhaustive as it also comprises provisions on methane, HFC and black carbon. So this is actually a real plan to combat climate change and clean our air, water and soil.

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