At the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa on June 29, 2016 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, President Barak Obama, and President Enrique Peña Nieto committed to a historic North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership. The partnership lays out a vision for advancing clean and secure power, driving down short-lived climate pollutants, promoting clean and efficient transportation, protecting nature and advancing science, and providing global leadership in addressing climate change.
In an era where science has often been questioned and even ignored, the detailed action plan identifies the deliverables and activities to be pursued by Mexico, Canada and the United States. In addition to setting the ambitious goal of achieving 50% clean power generation in North America by 2025, we were delighted to read that the proposed framework also highlights the importance of protecting migratory species and their habitats.
Specifically, the action plan states that it will “implement programs to conserve and improve biological corridors for whales and other species and their habitats, including their food chains and ecosystem quality.” In a time where funding for wildlife is often limited to applied science, we hope this will translate into meaningful support for scientific studies aimed at deepening our understanding of whales and what they need to survive and thrive in an ever changing and dynamic marine environment. Of course, whether or not this goal is actively pursued may largely be up to us — to apply pressure on our politicians to support collaborative and ecosystem based studies aimed at making these well meaning objectives a reality.