The Three Amigos Summit 2016 Pledges to Reduce Fossil Fuel Emissions in North America

The leaders of the United States, Mexico, and Canada have met earlier this week in Ottawa, Canada to discuss the future of energy sourcing in North America.

At the so-called Three Amigos Summit, Barack Obama of the U.S., Mexico’s Enrique Pena Nieto, and Justin Trudeau of Canada all pledged to generate half of North America’s electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2026.

The goal is to build more wind, solar, hydroelectric, and nuclear power in each of the three countries. But, this plan comes with some requirements.

First off, the United States is expected to pull most of the weight of the program. The U.S. power market is 10 times the size of Mexico’s, and six times that of Canada.

Energy consumption in the United States derives primarily from fossil fuels, with 67% of all electricity generated in 2015 coming from fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas, and petroleum.

And it comes with a pretty expensive price tag for American families. In total, the average American home spends about 2.7% of its income on energy bills, amounting to about $2,000 a year.

The initiative starts with the U.S. deploying more wind and solar power. This comes on the heels of Congress’s decision in December to extend funding for renewable energy source installations.

Along with that, the U.S. and Canada will work together to form a clean energy Keystone XL pipeline. The Three Amigos believe this action is imperative to reaching their 50% renewable energy target.

But since this plan is not a binding treaty, it is up to the next American president to solidify the initiatives. Paul Bledsoe, political consultant on climate policy, tells the International Business Times that Democratic front runner Hilary Clinton “is clearly simpatico with these goals.”

However, Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, has made public his staunch beliefs that humans do not contribute to global warming.

But as Bledsoe points out, no matter who wins the presidential race, “the imperative to reduce emissions is not going away, no matter who is elected.”

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