Today and Thursday, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy will join host Canadian Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq and Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Juan José Guerra Abud in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada for the 21st Regular Session of the Council for the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC).
During the council session, Administrator McCarthy will discuss the Strategic Priorities for 2015-2020 and the Operational Plan for 2013-2014. Primary topics for discussion include mitigating and adapting to climate change, incorporating traditional ecological knowledge into environmental decision-making, and the pursuit of green growth and sustainable practices in North America. At the close of the meeting, Administrator McCarthy will assume the role of Chair of the CEC Council, previously held by Canada.
The CEC is an international organization established by the United States, Canada, and Mexico under the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), a side agreement to the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Since its creation in 1994, the CEC has advanced our understanding of trade-environment linkages; successfully promoted citizen engagement and increased government accountability regarding enforcement; achieved substantial results on key North American issues, such as chemicals management and conservation of North American biodiversity; and built substantial environmental capacities.