U.S., Mexican, Canadian environmental leaders promote green building, pollution tracking tool

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MORELIA, Mexico, June 27, 2007 -- Highlighting their shared commitment to environmental progress in North America, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson today joined his Mexican and Canadian counterparts to launch new collaborative environmental initiatives on green building and tracking pollution in North America.

The officials were gathered in Morelia, Mexico for the 14th Council Session of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC), an organization created by Canada, Mexico and the United States to address regional environmental concerns.

"Today's collaboration with our North American partners reaffirms President Bush's commitment to being a good global neighbor," said Johnson. "The CEC is an important catalyst for cooperative action in building a cleaner, healthier, more sustainable environment for future generations."

Johnson joined host Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, Mexican Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources, and John Baird, Canadian Environment Minister, for the day-long meeting.

During today's meeting, the Council: (1) agreed that the CEC should lead initiatives to promote green building throughout the continent, and should also help foster greater cooperation on air quality in North America; and (2) formally lent support to conservation initiatives for the monarch butterfly and the vaquita porpoise.

The officials also highlighted the important role the CEC played in the development of Mexico's first report on industrial emissions data. Combined with comparable information from Canada and the United States, this marks the first North American register of pollution releases and chemical sales and shipments, a milestone for environmental management and citizens' rights in North America. Citizens will be able to access this information through a new interactive Google Earth mapping tool developed by the CEC.

The CEC was established by the governments of the U.S., Mexico, and Canada to improve the coordination of environmental and trade policy in North America. This partnership complements the environmental provisions of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

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