7 Things Justin Trudeau And Barack Obama Agreed Upon That Will Change Canada Forever
Two men have dominated both the Canadian and American media in the last three days, and in case you needed a reminder, I'm referring to the newly formed political power couple that is TruBama.
Or, for those less inclined towards celebrity name fusions, Justin Trudeau and Barrack Obama, who have both spent a fair share of time together in the last several days during the Prime Minister of Canada's three-day trip to Washington.
But amid all the photo-ops, ritzy dinners, and racy fanfics (Obama is a total top, btw), we can't forget that the two world leaders actually announced some very real and pertinent issues throughout the media frenzy.
So, to remind you all that there truly is a political core to this bromance, here's a brief rundown on what TruBama (and yes, I will be referring to them both as such throughout this piece) have declared Canada and the U.S. will be working together on in the years to come.
1. Reducing Methane Emissions
Announced on Thursday, TruBama committed both the U.S. and Canada to reducing their respective methane emissions (which is 20x worse for the environment than carbon dioxide) by 40%-45% below what was emitted in 2012 by 2025. Specifically, the oil and gas industries will be targeted, both being the largest industrial source of methane on the planet.
Other methods to lower methane will be investigated as well. Environment and Climate Change Canada and the Environmental Protection Agency are set to outline new regulatory frameworks soon, with the former set out to create a plan of action as early as next year.
2. Implementing The Paris Agreement
Together, Canada and the U.S. will strive to enact the regulations outlined in the Paris Agreement on climate change. TruBama stated that both nations will "commit to join and sign the Agreement as soon as feasible" while also introducing strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement.
3. Stopping Climate Change On A Global Level
Not solely focusing on their respective nations, TruBama have also positioned Canada and the U.S. as leaders/role models in the fight against climate change. Both nations will "adopt a Montreal Protocol HFC phasedown amendment in 2016" and provide funding for developing countries to do the same.
A focus on creating and implementing greener technologies (specifically in cars and planes) will be a part of the overall plan, as will trying to get other global leaders and G-20 countries to commit to improving their environmental profiles.
4. Improving North America's Energy Model
While striving to reduce the current rate of harmful gases released into the atmosphere, Canada and the U.S. promise to fund more research on clean energy alternatives and renewable sources of energy. TruBama also declared a partnership between Canada and the US to bolster the security of the North American electricity grid, specifically from cyber attacks.
5. Changes To The Canada-U.S. Border
Security is set to increase between Canada and the U.S.'s border (alas, no wall is planned yet) with TruBama promising the two nations will share more information on travellers, such as the names of individuals on no-fly lists. Customs pre-clearance initiatives are also planned, which will see the information collected from one nation on a traveller exchanged with the other so that "data on entry to one country serves as a record of exit from the other."
6. A Newfound Commitment To The Arctic
Turning northward, TruBama announced "a new partnership to embrace the opportunities and to confront the challenges in the changing Arctic," citing the inclusion of Indigenous communities of the Arctic to aid in tackling issues plaguing the area. Conserving the arctic's biodiversity, incorporating indigenous science and traditional knowledge in all decisions made, creating a sustainable arctic economy, and supporting arctic communities are all objectives of the proposed plans. Two major goals are ensuring the protection of 17% of Arctic land areas and 10% of marine areas by 2020.
7. Obama Is Coming To Canada
Lastly, and perhaps most exciting, is the continuation of the TruBama bromance-affair, as the President of the United Stated announced he will be travelling to Ottawa come June. The journey is being dubbed a "Three Amigos" summit, as Obama and Trudeau will be joined by Enrique Peña Nieto, the current President of Mexico, in order to discuss important North American issues. Obama also plans to address the Canadian Parliament during his time in Ottawa.
But the real question is: will the political power couple that is TruBama welcome a third (Peña Nieto) into the mix? I hope so.
Or, at the least, Angélica Rivera, Sophie Grégoire, and Michele Obama will have a gal-pal-trio thing going on, because that would be next-level in the sophisticated-sexy department.