January 20, 2009

Canadian, U.S. energy policy to be linked

Canadian Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Tuesday that Canadian and American energy policies must be linked.

Speaking to a group of business leaders before Barack Obama's inauguration as U.S. president, Prentice said there needs to be a bilateral approach to North American energy and environment policy, the Globe and Mail reported.

He said linked energy policies means a common cap and trade system for carbon emissions, a shared target for low-carbon power generation, a common mandate for producing biofuels and common fuel efficiency standards.

Prentice said the Canadian government's environment policies will not make life more difficult for business.

Whatever we do, we will first seek to 'do no harm,' he said. We want to avoid measures that would cause (businesses) to be not just down, but out.

Prentice said the environmental policies of Canada and the new U.S. administration are virtually identical, noting Obama's support for a carbon trading system with specific targets.