Canada, Mexico and US set new renewables target

The three countries have pledged to meet 50% of their combined energy needs with renewables by 2025.

The US, Mexico and Canada are committing to a new goal to meet 50 percent of their energy needs with clean power by 2025.

The pledge comes as leaders of the three countries, whose combined clean energy production currently represents 37 percent of their total energy consumption, meet on Wednesday in the Canadian capital of Ottawa. The “Three Amigos” summit will highlight why the North American countries should use their close economic relationships to work together on clean energy goals.

The new pledge builds on a framework the three countries agreed to in February to cooperate on clean energy initiatives like reducing emissions and carbon-capture projects. It also established a database for energy information sharing.

Canada already produces over 80 percent of its energy from solar, wind, hydro and nuclear power, reports estimate. For Mexico and the US, the summit is a chance to make loftier commitments.

Over the past year, the US generated a third of its power from carbon-free sources. Its previous pledge was to get a fifth of its electricity from renewables by 2030, on top of its agreement at COP21 last December to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025.

Mexico previously committed to increasing its clean energy generation to 35 percent of its electricity production by 2024, along with its COP21 pledge to reduce 25 percent of its emissions by 2030.

The US has been shoring up commitments with other countries in the aftermath of the Paris climate agreement. Earlier this month, India and the US announced a number of new initiatives that will mobilise $1.4 billion and help develop 5.4GW of new solar capacity.

Across the world, more renewable energy sources were installed last year than ever before, according to a United Nations report released earlier this month. An estimated 147GW of renewable power was added last year, accounting for more than 75 percent of the world’s newly created energy capacity.