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Media Release

REMINDER: Tell us what you think the next 20 years of environmental cooperation in North America should look like

CEC advisory committee to mark 20th anniversary of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation with public meeting in Washington, DC.

Montreal, 23 August 2013 — So far we’ve heard from you about a slew of environmental issues, including the need for more North American collaboration on climate change, erosion of coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico, and reducing the impact of cross-border commercial transportation—but we want to hear more!

Whether it’s one paragraph or a lengthy essay, send our Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC) your thoughts on how North American governments should be working together to improve our shared environment, and have your voice heard at an important public debate to be held in Washington, DC, 17–18 October 2013.

Our Joint Public Advisory Committee (JPAC), which provides advice to the federal-level environment ministers in Canada, Mexico and the United States, will host trade and environment experts, including activists, entrepreneurs, government officials and academics, to consider how well North America is dealing with trade and environment 20 years since NAFTA and its environmental side agreement, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), went into effect.

With new free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in negotiation all around the globe, there is no better time to reflect on the ideas that led to the creation of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994, considered by many as the first time international trading partners addressed concerns that free trade might harm the environment.

To get you started:

  • What are the environmental successes of the NAAEC and NAFTA? Where have the provisions of those agreements fallen short? And where they have, does the problem lie in the agreements themselves or in their implementation?
  • Is the CEC achieving the goals for which it was created? Are those goals adequate in face of ongoing environmental challenges in North America?
  • Have the NAAEC and the environmental provisions of NAFTA adequately addressed environmental concerns related to free trade in North America?
  • How could implementation of the NAAEC and the environmental provisions of NAFTA be improved?
  • Are there important topics the CEC has failed to tackle over the past 20 years?
  • In light of the past 20 years, on what priorities should the CEC focus in the next 10 years and beyond?

Send contributions of information and comments addressing one or more of these questions, or other information relevant to the first 20 years of NAFTA and the NAAEC, to: jpac@cec.org, or submit them online. The due date for contributions is 30 August 2013.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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