Canada will offer 'continental climate change pact' to President Obama
OTTAWA (AFP) – Canada's prime minister said Thursday he hoped to work with US president-elect Barack Obama on a North American deal to curbing greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.
"It's almost essential for Canada to manage this problem in cooperation with the United States because we share the same economy, we share the same continent," Prime Minister Stephen Harper told reporters.
"And we need a partner in the matters of the environment if we want to make real progress."
The United States, said Harper, has not embraced an "aggressive" environmental agenda, but Obama was set to redouble US efforts on climate change, balancing these with economic and energy security concerns.
"Given our integrated continental economy, this is an excellent opportunity for Canada to advance its shared agenda and its shared needs ... in these areas," he said.
Canada is the largest oil supplier to the United States but its western Athabasca oil sands have been harshly criticized by environmentalists as a blight on the planet.
At an estimated 173 billion barrels, the tar sands in northeast Alberta are the second-largest oil reserve in the world, behind Saudi Arabia, but extraction of bitumen is both costly and messy.