Madam Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise today in the House to speak to this important subject. The Paris agreement is without a doubt a watershed moment in the global community's fight against climate change, and it is an honour to be contributing to this historic debate today.
Canadians know that a clean environment and a strong economy go hand in hand. This principle is something I heard from many of my constituents when I hosted a town hall on climate change in June of this year. There is a firm belief in my community that a strong and innovative economy is closely related to a clean environment.
In my riding of Kingston and the Islands, we see innovation happening in many ways. For example, the Engineered Nickel Catalysts for Electrochemical Clean Energy group, an international research project based out of Queen's University, is on the cutting edge when it comes to developing new clean energy technologies. St. Lawrence College, another post-secondary institution in my riding, has emerged as a leader in renewable energy and has focused strongly on applied research and innovation. I highlight these examples because it is important to emphasize that both basic and applied research will have long-term benefits for both our economy and the environment.
While amazing work is being done in my community and across the country, Canada cannot face this challenge alone. That is why my remarks today will focus on how the close relationship between the environment and the economy is clearly demonstrated through the collective actions we are taking in North America.
By ratifying this agreement Canada would be standing side by side with a number of our closest allies. In particular, I would like to recognize and congratulate two of our continental partners, the United States and Mexico, for their recent ratification of the Paris agreement. This serves as an example for the global community. I look forward to Canada's joining therm shortly, along with other nations that have ratified this historic document. In partnership with our friends, the U.S. and Mexico, we are taking important steps to meet our Paris commitments. At the same time, we are growing our economies in a clean and sustainable way.
In March of this year, the Prime Minister visited Washington, D.C. He and President Barack Obama outlined their common vision for a prosperous and sustainable North American economy. They spoke of the opportunities afforded in advancing clean growth.
In their joint statement on climate, energy, and Arctic leadership, they recognized the importance of the Paris agreement as a turning point in global efforts to combat climate change. In short, they saw this as an opportunity to anchor economic growth in clean development, and I could not agree more. They emphasized not only their shared commitment to implementing the Paris agreement but also to advancing climate action globally through other important initiatives such as hydrofluorocarbon phase-down through the Montreal Protocol.
The president and the Prime Minister also undertook to coordinate their domestic actions on climate change. For example, they made a shared commitment to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector, the world's largest industrial methane source, and they reaffirmed their commitment to finalize and implement a second phase of aligned greenhouse gas emission standards for post-2018 on-road heavy-duty vehicles.
Beyond these commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they also agreed to work closely with indigenous and northern partners to confront the challenges they face in the changing Arctic. Indigenous peoples, particularly those in the north, are often hit the hardest by the effects of climate change. They recognize, perhaps more than most, that we must take decisive action now to protect our planet.
As such, it is incredibly important to take these steps to conserve Arctic biodiversity while working to build a sustainable economy. Part of this means incorporating indigenous science and traditional knowledge in our decision-making.
I am proud that our governments will coordinate domestic climate action and take steps to build a new Arctic leadership model based on partnerships with indigenous and northern communities.
Let me now turn to one of our other continental partners, Mexico. In June, the Mexican president visited Ottawa to affirm the importance of a renewed strategic partnership with Canada, including with respect to the environment. Our countries committed to advancing a North American approach to the creation of a clean growth economy. By this, they meant that we would jointly tackle the causes and impacts of climate change and promote and develop renewable sources of energy to meet our respective challenges.
These bilateral relationships with our partners in North America are incredibly important, but equally important is finding areas where we can all work together to advance a North American approach to climate change and clean energy.
At the end of June, Canada had the honour of hosting the North American leaders' summit, which proved to be an important moment for North American environmental affairs. In the leaders' statement on North American climate, clean energy, and environmental partnership, the three countries committed to a number of important items.
First is advancing clean and secure power, including a historical goal to strive to achieve 50% clean power generation by 2025.
Second is driving down short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons. This is a critical step, as these short-lived climate pollutants are up to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to warming. To achieve a reduction in pollution means we have to set bold and ambitious targets. For example, we have committed to reducing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by between 40% to 45% by 2025.
Third, we agreed to promote clean and efficient transportation through joint actions that would create jobs while reducing energy consumption, greenhouse gases, and air pollution.
Fourth, we committed to protecting nature and advancing science, including conservation and sustainable biodiversity, and to collaborating with indigenous communities and leaders to incorporate traditional knowledge into decision-making.
Fifth, we committed to showing global leadership in addressing climate change. North American leadership is also evident in our work under the International Civil Aviation Organization. Together, we are pursuing the adoption of a global market-based mechanism that aspires to enable carbon neutral growth in international civil aviation.
Furthermore, in July we made significant progress in Vienna toward an amendment under the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs. An HFC phase-down is one of the most significant measures that the world can take to combat climate change and contribute toward the objectives of the Paris agreement.
Our three countries will work together to build on this momentum next week in Rwanda during the 28th meeting of the parties to the Montreal Protocol. We will lead the global community toward an ambitious amendment on HFCs.
Continental co-operation was further demonstrated last month, when the Minister of Environment and Climate Change participated in the annual Commission for Environmental Cooperation council session in Mexico. The CEC is an institution that for over 20 years has brought our countries together to work on our shared environmental challenges. This environmental agreement was Canada's first regional accord to clearly link trade policy with environmental protection, and serves as yet another example of how a healthy economy and a healthy environment must go hand in hand.
The minister and her counterparts from the U.S. and Mexico committed to build on recent regional commitments on the environment. They recognized the need to develop mid-century low-carbon development strategies, reduce short-lived climate pollutants, and phase down HFCs. Canada is now the chair of the CEC, and I am very much looking forward to seeing our country host the organization's annual meeting in Charlottetown next year.
In conclusion, this year has been a busy year for North American co-operation on climate change and the environment. The special friendships and alliances we have on our continent make a strong statement on multilateral collaboration. Going forward, we must continue to advance our shared objectives to reduce climate change while promoting clean economic growth.
As a member of the environment committee, I continually hear that the battle against climate change is taking place on many fronts. We need a comprehensive and holistic approach that includes investing in clean technologies, promoting innovation, funding basic research, expanding our protected spaces, and incorporating sustainable practices across governments.
As parliamentarians, I know we all take the issue of environmental protection seriously. The decision we make will have a profound and lasting impact on generations to come. Ratification is a big step in the right direction. That is why I am urging all of my hon. colleagues to support the motion we have before us today.