Minister Baird Promotes Cooperative Action on Air Pollution with the U.S. and Mexico



    OTTAWA, June 25 /CNW Telbec/ - The Honourable John Baird, Minister of the
Environment will work with the U.S. and Mexico to take further steps on issues
of common environmental concern, including air pollution, at a meeting this
week (June 26-27) of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in
Morelia, Mexico.
    "We have taken great strides on improving air quality with the
introduction of a new regulatory package in Canada," Mr. Baird said. "We are
hoping to enhance our cooperation with the U.S. and Mexico to deal effectively
with pollution at the continental level."
    In April, the Minister announced a comprehensive set of initiatives aimed
at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution that imposes limits on
industrial emitters, regulates the fuel efficiency of vehicles and imposes
efficiency standards on consumer products like light bulbs, among other
things.
    Canada's New Government will impose mandatory targets on industry, so
that greenhouse gases come down and we achieve our goal of an absolute
reduction of 150 megatonnes by 2020. As well, it will impose targets on
industry so that air pollution from industry is cut in half by 2015. For more
information on the regulatory framework, visit ecoaction.gc.ca.
    At the Commission meeting this week, Minister Baird will hold discussions
with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Stephen L. Johnson,
and Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, Juan Rafael Elvira
Quesada. Their talks will focus on issues such as harmonizing air quality data
between the three countries and strengthening Mexico's pollutant monitoring
and reporting ability. This work could set the stage for the development of a
North American emissions trading regime, a move Canada supports.
    At the end of this meeting, Canada will assume the chair of the CEC for a
period of one year.
    "We are all partners in caring for this continent," Mr. Baird added. "We
share a lot of responsibility. So, it is important that we work together to
protect the North American environment."

    The Commission for Environmental Cooperation was created by Canada,
Mexico and the United States in 1994 to work together on issues of common
environmental concern.

    (Egalement offert en français)




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Media Relations, Environment
Canada, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008


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