U.S., Mexican and Canadian Environmental Leaders Reaffirm Commitment to Cooperation

Greater collaboration among nations and between the public and private sectors is crucial to protect the environment in North America, said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson, meeting recently with the Mexican and Canadian environmental ministers.

Johnson joined his colleagues for strategic planning discussions at the Commission for Environmental Cooperations (CEC) 12th Council Session meeting. As part of their work, the three officials held talks with representatives of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Mexican Confederacion de Camaras Industriales, and the U.S. Council for International Business. The countries formally resolved to strengthen partnership with the business community and to expand private sector engagement in the CECs innovative environmental protection initiatives.

The officials adopted a new five-year strategic plan for the CEC focused on results, quality information and analysis based in sound science. The countries embraced certain priorities, including:

  • Information for decision-making: Increase comparability, reliability and compatibility of national and regional environmental information for use by all stakeholders.
  • Capacity building: Strengthen institutional capacity to manage environmental issues of common concern, with an initial focus on opportunities in Mexico to work with the private sector to improve competitiveness and environmental performance.
  • Trade and the environment: Enhance integration of CEC trade and environment work on renewable energy, enforcement of environmental law, ongoing environmental assessment of NAFTA, green purchasing and invasive alien species.

The CEC is an international organization created by Canada, Mexico and the United States under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC). The CEC was established to address regional environmental concerns, help prevent potential trade and environmental conflicts, and promote the effective enforcement of environmental law. The Agreement complements the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

More information about the CEC is available at http://www.cec.org.

This article originally appeared in the 06/01/2005 issue of Environmental Protection.

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