Friday, June 01, 2007

US, Canada, Mexico Make Energy Efficiency Agreement

The U.S., Canada, and Mexico have formally agreed to make their energy systems more efficient. A regional strategy will be implemented to better coordinate and exchange energy research, science, and technology. As one U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) official put it, the three countries are shifting towards a “North American perspective” as they explore how more synergy among their systems will help move us towards a cleaner, more efficient energy system and fight global warming.

This announcement seemed to come out of thin air to me. But apparently these talks stem from the North American Energy Work Group (NAEWG) that was formed in 2001 to improve transparency and regulatory compatibility, promote the development of resources and infrastructure, increase cooperation on efficiency standards, and address challenges on the demand side. The NAEWG began as a place to generate ideas, but has since evolved into developing plans for concrete results and the exchange of information and technology.

Energy efficiency was the top priority because of volatile natural gas and oil prices. Efficiency is also the cheapest, fastest, and easiest way to cut global warming emissions. The three nations will work together to expand the U.S.’s Energy Star program and share best practices and technologies in areas like fuel efficiency and biofuels, which have also been identified as high priorities. The plans specifically intend to benefit businesses, making it easier for those that manufacture appliances, lighting products and electrical equipment to do business across the continent.

More details of a cohesive energy efficiency plan are expected in June, with talks on other energy areas to follow.

Cross posted at Green Options

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