U.S., Mexico, Canada to set 50% no-carbon power goal

The leaders of all three North American nations will announce a joint pledge Wednesday to draw half of the continent's power from nonemitting sources by 2025, White House spokesman Brian Deese announced this afternoon.

The target will be an average across the United States, Canada and Mexico, and will include renewables like hydropower, wind, solar and energy efficiency measures, as well as nuclear power and fossil fuels with carbon capture and storage technology.

Deese called the pledge "a central and animating goal" for the broader North American energy and climate partnership that President Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto will unveil during their North American Leaders' Summit in Ottawa, Ontario.

"The 50 percent goal is a North America-wide goal, but we think that that is achievable if all three countries respectively make ambitious progress toward executing and in fact exceeding the targets that we have respectively set in our national contributions to the Paris Agreement," Deese said in a call with reporters.

While the target would allow trading across national lines, Deese called it a "stretch goal, but one that we think is achievable within the United States itself."

Deese acknowledged that the pledge will depend on national policies, including the U.S. EPA Clean Power Plan in the U.S. That rule is now on hold pending judicial review.

The deal will also take steps to better integrate transmission systems and to boost procurement of renewable energy, he said. And Mexico will join the U.S. and Canada in making a commitment to reduce methane emissions between 40 and 45 percent by 2025.

Reporter Emily Holden contributed.

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