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Energy & The Environment

Canada and the United States share the longest international border in the world, home to millions of people and wildlife from the Atlantic to the Pacific. We are also each other’s largest and most secure energy suppliers, working together to power communities and businesses from coast to coast.

Powering Our Nations

Canadian energy is critical to the U.S. economy and its competitiveness, especially as we face an energy crisis exacerbated by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine. Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the U.S., supplying 61% of crude oil imports in 2021, and 98% of natural gas imports, 93% of electricity imports and 28% of uranium purchases in 2020. Carried by 71 oil and gas pipelines and 35 transmission lines across our shared border, our secure, reliable and sustainably produced energy powers millions of homes and businesses in communities across the U.S. and supports hundreds of thousands of job opportunities on both sides of the border. Energy from Canada – more than from any other country – contributes directly to U.S. economic prosperity, security and environmental objectives.

The U.S. has committed to a number of sustainable energy objectives, like a carbon-pollution-free power sector by 2035, proposing new methane rules to slash those emissions by 74% by 2035, reaching 50% sales of zero-emission vehicles by 2030, and cutting overall greenhouse gas emissions by 50 to 52% by 2030. Now more than ever, we need to accelerate the transition to clean and reliable sources of energy to stabilize access to long-term energy and autonomy and to reduce emissions. With our highly integrated energy systems and with our increasing climate ambition, Canada can help the U.S. get there. Canada has the third-largest crude oil reserves in the world and Canadian oil is among the most responsibly sourced in the world. New measures in Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plan could help reduce emissions from our oil and gas sector by about 42% from current levels by 2030. We are also developing a cap on oil and gas emissions for 2023. This cap will be designed to lower emissions at a pace and scale needed to achieve net zero by mid-century and reduce oil and gas-related methane emissions by at least 75% by 2030. As the largest supplier of energy to the U.S., cutting emissions from oil and gas production in Canada will have a material downstream impact south of the border.

Canada is also investing in new technologies and infrastructure to be a global leader in clean energy and innovation. We are taking a balanced approach to developing our energy resources; one that creates prosperity, while reducing emissions and preserving the environment.

Canada also produces a lot of renewable energy, like hydropower. Our electricity grid is already 80% non-emitting, and we are aiming to get to net zero by 2035. Canada is developing a Clean Electricity Standard and increasing investments in emerging technologies like geothermal and tidal power, hydrogen, small modular reactors, carbon capture, utilization and storage, and electricity storage. Our electricity exports contribute to U.S. emissions reductions objectives and can balance other variable renewables on our integrated grid.

Protecting Our Planet

Canada and the U.S. have a long history of working together to protect our air, water and wildlife.  In 2021, Canada and the U.S. published a Roadmap for a Renewed Partnership, which included a number of climate actions and environmental initiatives. Chief among them was working together to cut methane emissions. Since then, Canada signed on to the U.S. co-led Global Methane Pledge – a commitment to cut global methane emissions by 30% by 2030. We are also working with Mexico to develop a North American Strategy on Methane, which Canada will support through its commitment to reduce national methane emissions by at least 75% by 2030, including through regulations.

Ours is an established partnership. In 1991, Canada and the U.S. established the Air Quality Agreement (AQA) to address transboundary air pollution that was causing acid rain. A decade later, the Agreement was updated to include ground-level ozone to reduce smog. Since the AQA was signed, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide emissions that pollute the air we breathe have been dramatically reduced in both Canada and the U.S., leading to healthier communities on both sides of the border.

Canada and the U.S. also work together to protect our shared waters. Our partnership on transboundary water began more than a century ago when we signed the Boundary Waters Treaty in 1909. And, in April 2022, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Canada-U.S. Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. The Great Lakes are vital to the wellbeing of millions of people. They contain almost 20% of the world’s surface freshwater, they sustain 4,000 species of plants and animals, they generate billions of dollars in economic activity, and they provide drinking water for our communities. This Agreement contributes to the quality of life of Canadians and Americans through sound management and use of the Great Lakes. We also recently renewed our commitment, investing millions of dollars in Budget 2022 toward transboundary freshwater lakes and rivers we share with the U.S., including the Great Lakes.

We also work with the U.S. to ensure that the wildlife that ranges across our shared border is managed sustainably and in cooperation with Indigenous peoples. For over a century, through the Migratory Birds Convention, we have worked together to protect migratory birds, their eggs and their nests. The convention also supports the restoration of depleted populations of migratory birds, supporting conservation efforts in both countries. We also collaborate to protect other migratory species, like the Porcupine caribou. Every year, the Porcupine caribou herd migrates between Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. Canada and the U.S. signed an Agreement in 1987 to protect this herd, conserve its habitat and sustain customary and traditional uses of the herd by Indigenous peoples and rural residents. Our cooperation will help us achieve our shared ambitious goal of conserving 30% of our land and water by 2030.

Innovating for the Future

To build a cleaner and more prosperous economy, Canada and the U.S. are taking action to tackle climate change and cut emissions from some of our most polluting sectors, including our highly integrated transportation sector. Cutting emissions from the sector is one of the most readily-achievable and economically-beneficial paths we can take on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050. That’s why Canada made the commitment to align its light and heavy-duty vehicle performance-based greenhouse gas standard regulations with those of the most stringent in the U.S. Canada has also recently established measures to accelerate zero-emission vehicle sales targets that will lead to all new light-duty cars and passenger truck sales being zero-emission by 2035, which is bolstered by the U.S. target of 50% new zero-emission vehicle sales by 2030.

To help us reach our goals, we finalized a joint action plan on critical minerals, advancing our mutual interest in securing supply chains for the critical minerals needed for our economic growth and security, including those needed to manufacture electric vehicle batteries. Canada is an important supplier of 12 of the 50 minerals that the U.S. has identified as critical to economic and national security. With CAD$3.8 billion allocated to boost production of critical minerals like lithium and copper in Canada’s Budget 2022, we have the potential to become an even larger source of critical minerals that are key components that we use every day. Canada is currently the largest supplier of potash, indium, aluminum and tellurium to the U.S. and the second-largest supplier of niobium, tungsten and magnesium. Canada also supplies roughly one quarter of the uranium needs of the U.S. and has been a reliable partner to the U.S. in this commodity for over 75 years.

What’s more, Canada and the U.S. are working together to enhance our energy cooperation through a Memorandum of Understanding signed in August 2021. It includes commitments to collaborate on new and upgraded energy efficiency standards; to accelerate the adoption of zero-emission light- and medium-duty vehicles, zero- and low-emission heavy duty vehicles and maritime and aviation transport; to improve access to sustainable, resilient and affordable energy for remote and Indigenous communities; and to enhance collaboration in the areas of carbon capture, utilization and storage and carbon dioxide removal.