President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced plans to collaborate on a new clean energy economy as a key element of broader economic recovery and reinvestment efforts between the United States and Canada.
"I value our strategic partnership with Canada and look forward to working closely with the Prime Minister to address the global economic recession and create jobs, to protect our environment through promoting clean energy technologies, and achieve our shared goals in responding to international security challenges," said President Obama at a press conference in the Reading Room at Parliament in Ottawa.
"The President and I agree that both our countries must take immediate action to restore economic growth by lowering taxes, ensuring access to credit and unleashing spending that stimulates economic growth. We also agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the areas of environmental protection and global security," said Prime Minister Harper.
Noting the history of bilateral co-operation on continental environmental protection and energy trade and technology, the two leaders agreed that environmental protection and the development of clean energy are inextricably linked. They agreed to collaborate on high-return opportunities for expanded and new joint research.
"We are establishing a U.S.-Canada clean energy dialogue which commits senior officials from both countries to collaborate on the development of clean energy science and technologies that will reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change," Harper said.
"How we produce and use energy is fundamental to our economic recovery, but also our security and our planet," Obama said. "And we know that we can't afford to tackle these issues in isolation. And that's why we're updating our collaboration on energy to meet the needs of the 21st century."
"The clean energy dialogue that we've established today will strengthen our joint research and development," the President said. "It will advance carbon reduction technologies and it will support the development of an electric grid that can help deliver the clean and renewable energy of the future to homes and businesses, both in Canada and the United States. And through this example, and through continued international negotiations, the United States and Canada are committed to confronting the threat posed by climate change."
The United States and Canada are already collaborating on energy research related to advanced biofuels, clean engines, and energy efficiency.
The leaders signed a document today stating that the new clean energy dialogue will focus on carbon capture and storage technology, which they said "holds enormous potential to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions as we use our own energy resources to power our economy."
To spur rapid progress in this critical technology, the two nations will coordinate research and demonstrations of carbon capture and sequestration technology at coal-fired plants.