Commission for Environmental Cooperation Commission for Environmental Cooperation CEC _7bd56d30-575f-440e-ac01-24e9f459bf19 234f4337-ce42-487d-b594-1f1b5907e5dd To facilitate cooperation and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment for the benefit of present and future generations, in the context of increasing economic, trade and social links among Canada, Mexico and the United States. _3194f708-6f67-454b-959b-c913a6fae198 Policies and Actions To promote policies and actions that provide mutual benefits for the environment, trade and the economy. _ebeda127-dc82-40db-b13e-71f6288baea5 To meet these objectives, the Working Group focused its activities on six specific areas, as outlined in the Puebla Declaration: establishing key elements to enhance markets for renewable energy; addressing issues related to trade pathways for invasive species; trade and enforcement of environmental laws, including enforcement of domestic laws that address transboundary trade in environmentally sensitive goods and materials; environmental procurement practices; market-based approaches to connect North American ecoregions; and sharing, as appropriate, information on methodologies for conducting environmental reviews of trade agreements with a view to better assessing the environmental effects of NAFTA. While these six areas are the primary focus, the Working Group retains the flexibility to focus 10(6) efforts on other urgent matters that may arise, and that support the Plan’s goal and objectives. Although this program considers six specific areas of work, during 2005 projects will focus only on five of them. Work on market-based mechanisms for sustainable use projects will begin in 2006. The Group identified criteria to assist in both selecting projects to achieve the goal and objectives, and in evaluating the progress made. These criteria will help ensure that the trade and environment work focuses on the CEC’s strengths, does not duplicate the work of others, and builds on CEC activities by connecting to the work of other CEC working groups. Green Products and Services Enhance North American trade in green products and services, with a view to improving environmental protection, promoting sustainable use of biodiversity, removing trade barriers and utilizing market-based approaches. _5f8aa070-626f-4d87-aa64-11c4bbaa5392 1 Projects will promote the North American renewable energy market: - Share best practices on developing a renewable energy market; - Enhance the use of available information about renewable energy resources; - Investigate policies aimed at leveling the playing field related to transmission access; - Provide guidance for calculating the environmental benefits of renewables; - Promote purchases of renewable energy; and - Take actions to promote a North American market for renewable energy certificates. By harnessing abundant, naturally occurring sources of energy, such as the sun, the wind, geothermal heat, biomass, bio-fuels, and bio-plastics, renewable energy can help provide for current and future North American energy needs with few environmental impacts. The North American renewable energy market faces a number of challenges including higher initial costs, transmission line service gaps, and the differing renewable energy purchasing requirements employed by local, state/provincial, and national governments. A positive development is the emerging voluntary market for renewable energy certificates (RECs). RECs allow consumers to support renewable energy even if their local utility does not provide it directly. Increased outreach and education can foster REC markets. Through targeted actions, the Parties and the CEC can address some of the informational and transactional barriers that add to the cost of renewable energy and assist policymakers as they implement policies to promote renewable energy. Projects will promote North American markets for green products and services: - Assist in enhancing the compatibility of green procurement practices across North America; and - Share attributes, procurement techniques, life cycle and market information, and information related to the means of measuring both the environmental and economic benefits of green products and services to build the capacity of government and non-government entities to purchase these products and services. Green products and services have beneficial environmental and/or energy attributes, such as recycled content, energy efficiency, and no or low amounts of hazardous or toxic constituents, as well as, often, economic benefits. The NAFTA parties attach strong importance to the promotion of North American markets for green products and services and are committed to purchasing them and to promoting their use by all levels of governments and non-government entities. Applying environmental decisions to even a fraction of the one trillion dollar annual North American procurement market would stimulate the demand for green products and services and achieve significant environmental benefits. There are a number of obstacles that prevent growth of the North American green procurement market such as a need to share information about: successful procurement techniques, including energy or environmental attributes; market segments within and outside of the national governments; existing life cycle or cost benefit tools appropriate for purchasing a given product or service; and, government or third party certification opportunities. Also, there is no common baseline of energy and environmental attributes for a given product or service. Working together through the CEC, the Parties can overcome some of these obstacles and help grow the green procurement market across North America. Projects will promote better use of market-based approaches to support environmental protection, conservation, and the sustainable use of biodiversity: - Research and select areas/species or topics that will help identify possible green products and services; - Facilitate identification and prioritization of products/services for which viable markets for sustainably- produced goods could be developed across North America; - Enhance the availability and quality of information on best practices in using market-based and financial mechanisms for fostering sustainable use of resources; and - Analyze methods to harness emerging green market opportunities. Conservationists are exploring methods to harness public-private partnerships, stewardship mechanisms, economic incentives and financial instruments to serve North America’s marine and terrestrial species and areas. The CEC’s work on shade grown coffee, sustainable palm and sustainable tourism are examples of applying market-based approaches to conservation. They demonstrate how the triple goals of sustainable land use, poverty alleviation, and economic and trade development can be mutually supportive. This priority area aims to build upon these successes in an effort to increase trade while achieving environmental protection and sustainability goals. 9c38682a-cb45-4cc2-b6f8-cb425566568c 759e2b9a-fdce-43ed-b7eb-e1c59b52dd9e Trade-Related Environmental Concerns Increase the capacity of the three countries to identify and address trade-related environmental concerns to achieve mutual benefits for trade and the environment and improve collaboration among the three countries in these areas. _f854b8fa-afbc-46cd-8e6a-b64474d13b29 2 Projects will reduce the environmental and economic harm caused by invasive alien species (IAS) through greater coordination in the prevention, detection, analysis, and mitigation: - Share methodologies and develop guidelines for assessing and communicating risks associated with aquatic IAS pathways; - Develop strategies for public engagement in identification and mitigation measures; - Encourage greater collaboration between and among civil society groups and governments in North America to prevent and control IAS; and - Develop methods to better analyze the environmental and economic costs of IAS including determining how these costs are borne by specific geographic regions, ecosystems, industry sectors and governments. The Parties face environmental and economic challenges due to the introduction, establishment, and spread of IAS. Many IAS pathways relate to international trade. While the Parties cooperate in a number of fora to address different aspects of IAS issues, gaps remain in their efforts to analyze and address this threat. The CEC’s Biodiversity Conservation Working Group (BCWG) identified the threat of IAS as a significant concern for the Parties. It included IAS in its 2003 Biodiversity Strategic Plan as one of the 29 Priority Areas for Action. As a result, the CEC is currently conducting work in this area, and could continue to coordinate efforts to assess risks from aquatic pathways, consistent with the work of international standard setting bodies. Cooperation with civil society groups and the general public can assist governments in their efforts to identify ecosystems where IAS are present and to design mitigation measures and policy responses. The CEC can play an important role in coordinating information sharing among civil society groups and governments at all levels. More thorough and accurate analysis of the environmental and economic damages caused by IAS could also help the Parties prioritize efforts to combat IAS. adce8814-8b4e-44c3-9cff-e6b4507856d3 058f88bd-b447-4006-87de-d6a42aa20018 Regional and National Coordination Improve regional and national coordination, including between the CEC and the NAFTA Free Trade Commission (FTC) through the 10(6) working group. _568845af-b50c-47cb-b95d-120fc7798d3a 3 f0fc1307-5106-4c27-8dbd-8b7c00868c82 e767e5e2-60fc-4b80-abc5-47eb57530669 Trade and Environmental Linkages Broaden understanding of trade and environment linkages and thereby promote policy coherence, both at the domestic and regional levels in North America. _36c31f6e-48bd-48d5-bd1e-145be1e1d531 4 Projects will promote and facilitate training, compliance assistance and enforcement to expedite and facilitate the movement of legal materials while stopping illegal shipments that could present threats to human health or the environment: - Promote and facilitate the training of law and custom enforcement officials to detect, identify, analyze, and enforce against illegal shipments of hazardous waste, ozone depleting substances, protected species, and other illegal materials; - Develop models for information sharing among the Parties to foster improved understanding of illegal activities and the movement of illegal goods; and - Promote and develop compliance assistance activities aimed at informing firms of the laws, procedures and best practices related to transboundary shipping. Illegal shipments of hazardous materials, waste, and wildlife threaten human health and the environment. According to the International Crime Threat Assessment Report, international crime syndicates world-wide earn $13.5 to $22 billion annually from hazardous waste dumping, smuggling hazardous materials, and exploiting and trafficking in protected national resources. Improved training and coordination of customs officials, environmental officials and law enforcement personnel will allow them to spot potentially illegal shipments and take appropriate action. Likewise, training and improved communication will enable the Parties to quickly identify legal shipments and expedite their movement. Training and compliance assistance to affected firms will help speed trade in legal goods while providing greater protection for human health and the environment. Projects will continue documenting any environmental effects of trade liberalization in North America; improve the capacity of CEC and the Parties to analyze and understand NAFTA’s environmental effects; and, support information sharing between Canada and the United States and with Mexico, as appropriate, on methodologies for conducting environmental reviews of trade agreements: - Identify gaps and data needs in order to better assess the possible relationship between increased NAFTA-related economic activity and environmental conditions, and the economic and regulatory effects of trade liberalization on the environment; - Maximize data availability through CEC activities such as the Taking Stock reports; - Support sectoral analysis including through the North American Symposia on Understanding the Linkages Between Trade and Environment; - Build synergies and share information among the Parties with the aim of further developing, refining, and testing a framework for assessing the environmental impacts of trade, with a view to enhancing the environmental reviews of NAFT; and. - Engage with citizens and civil organizations in all of the three countries, especially at the community level. Article 10(6)(d) of the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation requires the Parties on an ongoing basis to assess the environmental effects of the NAFTA. As a result, promoting a better understanding of trade and environmental linkages has been central to the CEC mandate. be1ef3cd-c593-499b-8055-6b950dc0a26d 9915755e-6544-48a0-b103-4f3aa75b50f9 2005-06-17 2010-02-08 Arthur Colman ( Submit error.