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New Chair Calls for Greater Public Involvement in CEC’s Work

17 January 2012: The new chair of the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation's (NAAEC) Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) has issued a call for greater public involvement in CEC's work.

Martín Gutiérrez Lacayo, head of the environmental non-governmental organization (NGOs) Pronatura México, A.C. and JPAC chair for 2012, appealed to citizens of the three member countries of the CEC, namely Canada, Mexico and the US, to get more involved through a video posted 9 January 2012 to the online video sharing platform YouTube.

In the video, Gutiérrez argues that "public participation in JPAC events and activities can be an effective tool for the protection of natural resources and our environment.” He particularly urged public participation in an April 2012 JPAC public forum to take place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, which will examine electrical power generation and climate change in North America. A CEC report released in December 2011, titled "North American Power Plant Emissions," revealed that North America's 3,144 fossil fuel-burning plants emit more greenhouse gases (GHGs) than any other industrial sector.

The CEC was created by Canada, Mexico and the US to implement the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), the environmental side accord to the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The Council, composed of the Environment Ministers from the three member States, directs CEC work. JPAC, composed of five individuals from each country, is charged with getting public input on, and providing recommendations to, the Council. [CEC Press Release] [Media: Video Appeal of JPAC Chair Martín Gutiérrez] [IISD RS Story on North American Power Plant Emissions]