COP26: US, Can., Mx. launch initiative for indigenous communities


Today at the COP26, the Climate Change Summit taking place in Glasgow, Canada, Mexico, and the United States announced a trilateral initiative to support indigenous communities in their energy transition.

Firstly, the initiative comes in collaboration with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as part of a long-term global initiative. The initiative will also be the first time Canada, the US, and Mexico work through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).

Moreover, the announcement happened this Thursday, as the Canadian-based Indigenous Clean Energy (ICE); IRENA, and Natural Resources Canada jointly launched the global initiative. The global effort also comes with a C$500,000 investment from the government of Canada.

At the same time, the CEC, directed by officials from the US, Canada, and Mexico, simultaneously announced the North American phase as the first component of the five-year IRENA Global Initiative.

The CEC is a trilateral institution that came out of the NAFTA agreement back in 1994. The US, Canada, and Mexico created it to recognize and maintain environmental efforts all over North America. Its council includes Minister Steven Guilbault (ECCC, Canada); Secretary María Luisa Albores González (SEMARNAT, Mexico) and Administrator Michael S. Regan (EPA, United States).

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First of its kind initiative at COP26

Furthermore, under the terms of the initiative, the CEC will begin the initial works by leading a regional case study of best practices from across North America on transitioning communities to clean energy sources.

Thereafter, CEC will help operationalize phase 1 of the Global Initiative by focusing on the creation of core knowledge on decentralized renewable energy solutions for isolated, remote communities. These efforts will provide models and strategies for countries around the world facing similar challenges.

In addition, the global initiative will provide a platform for transitioning isolated and remote communities to renewable energy. About the matter, CEC Executive Director, Richard A. Morgan, said. “Remote and Indigenous communities are disproportionately impacted by energy challenges.”

Finally, he commented. “CEC’s North American initiative will help lay the foundation for a global effort to support communities transition to renewable energy and provide benefits such as improving local air and water quality, enhancing energy security, and providing new sources of revenue and economic opportunity.”

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