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North American Leaders Commit to Cooperation on Energy, Chemicals and Climate

2 April 2012: The North American Leaders Summit met in Washington DC, US, on 2 April, with the aim of advancing the economic well-being, safety and security of the US, Mexico, and Canada. The key outcome of the Summit was the Joint Statement by North American Leaders, which detailed North American cooperation on issues including energy, chemicals and climate change.

In the statement, Leaders pledge to introduce regulatory measures to enable innovation and growth in four sectors: emission standards for specific vehicle types; railroad safety; the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labeling of Workplace Chemicals; and aligning principles regulatory approaches to nanomaterials.

The statement also recognizes the growing regional and federal cooperation in the area of continental energy, including electricity generation, and that this cooperation on energy reduces the cost of doing business. The Leaders acknowledge that enhanced interconnection of electricity networks in the Americas would advance the goals of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas to reduce energy poverty and increase the use of renewable sources of energy. The statement also recognizes Mexico's leadership in supporting interconnection in Central America and reaffirms support to bring affordable, reliable and increasingly renewable power to businesses and homes in Central America and the Caribbean, while opening wider markets for clean energy and green technology.

On climate change, the statement pledges the Leaders' continued efforts to advance a lasting global solution to the challenge of climate change. It commits the three countries to work together, including through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, to secure a successful outcome at the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Doha, Qatar.

The statement also outlines plans to deepen trilateral cooperation and work with other interested partners to accelerate efforts aimed at reducing emissions of “short-lived climate pollutants,” and notes reducing emissions of these substances, which include methane, black carbon, and many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), offers significant opportunities to reduce the rate of global warming in the near term while also yielding health, agricultural productivity, and energy security benefits.

The next North American Leaders' Summit will be held in Mexico in 2013. [Joint Statement by North American Leaders]