Climate Buzz

Because it’s 2016! Women, Economics and Clean Electricity

Canada's climate change and environment minister, Catherine McKenna. Photo: Twitter
Canada's climate change and environment minister, Catherine McKenna. Photo: Twitter

The Three Amigos Summit – what’s that, you ask? Canada’s climate change and environment minister took to Twitter to explain some of the topics that were discussed.

US president Barack Obama, Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto met in Canada for the North American Leaders’ Summit – also known as as the Three Amigos Summit – to discuss issues that affect people across the continent, including climate change.

But it wasn’t just about amigos. The leaders also brought ministers and senior officials to the summit, and in Canada’s case that meant lots of amigas. Trudeau famously answered “Because it’s 2015,” last year when he replied to a question about why half of his ministers are women.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s first-ever climate change minister, took some time to answer questions about the summit via Twitter video. The former human rights and social justice lawyer is very active on social media and occasionally gives her followers insight into the glamorous life of an environment minister.

This time, she gave us some insights in the topics discussed at the summit. A major announcement to come out of the meetings, for example, was the plan to generate at least 50 per cent of North America’s electricity with renewable energy sources by 2025.

Behind The Scenes

First, a look behind the scenes of a Twitter chat – because it’s not all glamour!

Huge Economic Opportunity

McKenna says that climate change is clearly the biggest issue facing the environment today.

But she does point out there’s a huge economic opportunity because the the environment and the economy go together. She wants a focus on actions that benefit both the climate and the economy.

Prioritising Renewables

On the subject of fossil fuels McKenna says all three governments reconise the need to reduce subsides for fossil fuels, but also want to prioritise renewable energy sources.

This is a huge part of the agreement and the North American leaders want the continent’s electricity to be generated by 50 per cent renewable energy sources by 2025.

Inspirational Women

The Canadian environment minister spoke very highly of outgoing UN climate chief Christiana Figueres, and is looking forward to working with her successor, Patricia Espinosa.

McKenna is excited about how many women are getting involved with climate change, she’s previously spoken out about gender climate denial after having to endure a Twitter storm in reponse to a tweet about the effects of climate change on women.

Figueres has said increased gender equality has had a positive impact on climate action, with women bringing collaboration and optimism to the table.

Clean Electricity

The most important thing, McKenna says, is that we have clean electricity because it will provide more opportunity to electrify more things like vehicles.

You can check out the rest of McKenna’s answers by following her on Twitter @ec_minister and @cathmckenna.

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