Trudeau-Obama Climate Announcement Sets Stage for End to Arctic Drilling

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Rodrigo Estrada, Greenpeace, 202-478-6632

Trudeau-Obama Climate Announcement Sets Stage for End to Arctic Drilling

WASHINGTON - Today, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and President Barack Obama set a landmark precedent on the protection of Arctic waters. In addition to several strong measures aimed at reducing methane emissions and improving adaptation actions for northern communities to climate change, the leaders agreed to make consistency with international and domestic climate goals a key test for proposed commercial activities in Arctic waters, including offshore drilling projects.

In response to today’s news, Greenpeace USA Executive Director Annie Leonard said:

“President Obama and Prime Minister Trudeau may not have mentioned oil companies, but their message should put those companies’ Arctic plans on ice. Today’s agreement shows the US and Canada are beginning to square their policies with the 1.5 degree target that global leaders acknowledged in Paris. The American and Canadian leaders just set a strong precedent that global commitments on climate should be at the center of all energy development decisions. In the US, that starts with the Arctic being removed from the upcoming five-year offshore oil and gas leasing program.

“This agreement comes as the Obama Administration is considering a plan to put drilling in the Arctic — as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and even in new areas in the Atlantic — into play for oil companies. That will be a crucial first test for the commitments announced today. The clock is ticking for President Obama to secure his legacy as a consistent and clear leader on climate. Today’s agreement between the US and Canada is commendable only as a stepping stone toward a fully protected Arctic without fossil fuel extraction.”

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