Barack Obama, Justin Trudeau and Enrique Peña Nieto will commit to a new regional clean power goal at a summit this week in Ottawa, the White House has said.
The leaders of the US, Canada and Mexico, meeting on Wednesday at the so-called “Three Amigos” summit, will pledge to have their countries produce 50% of their power by 2025 from hydropower, wind, solar and nuclear plants, carbon capture and storage, as well as from energy efficiency measures.
“We believe this is an aggressive goal, but for all three countries, one that we believe is achievable, continent-wide,” said Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama.
It is a jump from the current collective clean power levels of about 37% and will require the most work from the United States, which produces about 75% of the countries’ power.
About a third of US power now comes from clean energy sources.
Curbing climate-changing carbon emissions has been a priority for Obama as the end of his second and final term in office draws closer.
But his new regulations on coal-fired power plants – the main US tool to reach emissions targets pledged at UN climate talks in Paris in December 2015 – were put on hold by the US supreme court earlier this year.
The White House believes its Clean Power Plan rules will ultimately survive the challenge. The rules, along with tax credits for renewable power plants, would help the United States do its share to reach the North American goal, Deese said.
He said it would not be necessary for the United States itself to hit the 50% mark to achieve the regional target.
Mexico produced less than 20% of its power from clean energy, Deese said, noting officials there had already pledged to reach 35% by 2024.
Canada produces 81% of its electricity from hydroelectric, solar, wind and nuclear power generation, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, which first reported the North American deal on Monday.
At the Wednesday summit the leaders also would announce new agreements to make it easier and cheaper to trade and transmit clean energy across the continent, Deese said.
Mexico would will join a pledge made earlier this year by Obama and Trudeau to reduce methane emissions by 40% to 45% by 2015, he said.