US, Canada eye joint climate strategy

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Leaders in the United States and Canada are working toward a North American climate change strategy that would be signed next week.

Chrystia Freeland, Canada’s international trade minister, told the Globe and Mail that the climate agreement is one of the main goals for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s planned state visit to the United States next week.

“The visit is still coming together but I am very hopeful there will be some real accomplishments on the environment and climate change,” she told the newspaper. “We are still 10 days away and negotiations are very intense right now and I am not going to get ahead of where negotiators are.”

Officials did not release many details of the negotiations, but the Globe and Mail said the strategy is likely to include provisions focused on automobiles, including tighter fuel economy and emissions rules along with incentives for electric vehicles and car sharing.

Negotiators on either side of the border also want to finalize a deal to make cross-border travel easier for residents of both countries and a trade deal for softwood lumber.

Trudeau has been much more willing than his predecessor, Stephen Harper, to implement climate change policies in Canada.

Harper resisted international pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions in a way that could harm the country’s oil industry and went as far as to pull the country out of the Kyoto Protocol.