Editor’s note: This is the introduction to an article, from Clean Energy Canada, authored by CLARE DEMERSE.
Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama are expected to announce new climate change and clean energy commitments when they meet in Washington D.C. over the next couple of days.
According to advance media reports, the bilateral commitments are expected to cover clean energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector, regulations for methane emissions, and Arctic climate impacts.
Increased cooperation between Canada and the U.S. could go a long way towards expanding clean energy and reducing carbon pollution from transportation. So with that in mind, here are six important questions about what that collaboration could look like, and what it would achieve.
Q: What could increased cooperation between Canada and the U.S. on clean power look like?
The two countries could collaborate on cross-border electricity transmission infrastructure, work together to invest in smarter grids, and create the conditions for increased exports of renewable power.
Specifically, President Obama’s Clean Power Plan allows U.S. states to use Canadian clean power to help meet their targets, provided the Canadian power comes online after 2012.
This is a significant opportunity for Canada: analysis by the North American Electric Reliability Council suggests that as the Clean Power Plan takes full effect, Canada could triple its clean power exports to the U.S. by 2030. 
The vast majority of Canada’s nearly $4 billion (Canadian) in electricity exports to the U.S. in 2014 came from hydro projects in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia. Each of these provinces plans to develop new non-emitting generation (hydro, wind, or solar) that could qualify under the Clean Power Plan’s federal requirements.
There are also several proposals for new cross-border electricity transmission that would require a Presidential Permit in order to proceed.
Q: What about reducing greenhouse gas pollution from transportation?
Electric vehicles are a key piece of the puzzle to reduce emissions in the transportation sector. They can also provide power storage and increase grid reliability.
This week, Canada and the U.S. can work together to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs) by:
- Supporting fast-charging infrastructure across the border.
- Committing to a rapid increase in EV procurement for government fleets. (For example, the federal governments could adopt the commitment that 10% of new fleet vehicles be zero-emitting by 2016, as British Columbia and its U.S. state Pacific Coast Collaborative partners have done.)
- Committing to adopt harmonized national Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) regulations—a logical next step from the harmonized vehicle fuel efficiency standards already in effect in Canada and the United States. One-third of the American and Canadian populations live in provinces and states that have, or are considering adopting, a zero-emission vehicle standard.
Because the auto sector is so highly integrated across North America, it makes sense for the growing electric vehicle sector to develop on a continental scale as well. The “three amigos” summit later this year offers an excellent opportunity to launch a North American Electric Auto Pact.
For the rest of the article: http://goo.gl/FlqRp3;
Filed Under: News