Kenora MP Greg Rickford's excited about a new energy agreement. He flew to Mexico on short notice over the weekend, so he could be part of an agreement on emissions controls between Canada, the United States and Mexico.

"Where Canada has oilsands, the United States obviously has coal. We want to reconcile, and make sure that the regulations reflect our ability to reduce GHG (greenhouse gases) emissions, but in a regulatory environment that respects what we're good at, in terms of energy production, and make it fair for all of us," he said.

Recently, the federal government released new targets for emission controls. Rickford, who is also the minister for natural resources, says the agreement will help Canadians to work closely with their American neighbours towards a cleaner future.

"When it's all said and done, despite having some different energy sector profile challenges and opportunities, it's important that we work together on things," he added.

The minister pointed out two areas of importance: carbon capture storage and regulations on methane. Last fall, Rickford visited a facility in Saskatchewan, where new technology was unveiled to help with carbon capture storage. He hoped the facility and technology would be duplicated in Alberta, where it could help with oilsands, as well as other countries.

The federal government had come under criticism in recent weeks, after unveiling greenhouse gas emission targets for 2030. Critics said they were unrealistic and didn't come with a plan for implementation, but Rickford says the new agreement will help governments across North America to work towards their targets together. Ottawa had argued it didn't make sense for Canadians to act, if American companies and governments weren't going to join.

For more information:
Carbon Capture Storage
Natural Resources Canada - New climate change and energy collaboration
Natural Resources Canada - Working group on climate change