JPAC calls for compatible policies and support for low-carbon economies

Montreal, 17 May 2010 – Following its most recent public meeting on “North America’s Energy Market: Aligning Policies and Managing Carbon,” held in March in Vancouver, Canada, the Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) has issued recommendations for promoting low-carbon economies throughout the region.

The recommendations to the Council of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) -the top environmental officials from Canada, Mexico and the United States- include the need to develop a joint energy policy approach for the three countries as well as common definitions for clean, renewable and green technologies.

JPAC, a group of 15 independent citizens-five appointed by each North American country-advises the Council on any matter within the scope of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation and serves as a source of information for the CEC Secretariat. JPAC holds regular public meetings to seek input on a wide variety of environmental issues.

The group also stressed the importance of identifying possible adverse effects and unintended consequences of developing energy and climate-change policies, and analyzing the cumulative effects of renewable energy projects on a smaller scale.

Other recommendations stemming from the public meeting include:

  • Support funding of research on carbon capture and storage and the development of compatible rules and standards.
  • Develop compatible market decisions in each country to ensure the North American carbon market functions effectively and is characterized by a clear price signal.
  • Enhance the North American Environmental Atlas to include geographic data on substances such as methane and black carbon that are of concern for their potential to contribute to climate change.
  • Foster forestry management practices in each of the three countries to support natural carbon sequestration.