Canada talks up low-carbon ties with China 2016-09-09

Bilateral exchange across the Pacific in the area of clean energy could be a driver for a new global economic strategy, Canada's prime minister said.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the Canada-China Business Council during his state visit to Shanghai. With an eye on climate change, the prime minister said, in sweeping terms, that both sides could show collaborative leadership.

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"Some of the clean technology now being developed in both countries was not on anyone's radar a generation ago, and we can't take advantage of tomorrow's opportunities if we don't work hard on building good relationships today," he said.

Canada's economy is under pressure from lower crude oil prices, which resulted in a 3.7 percent contraction for the oil-rich province of Alberta. Alberta's finance minister said the provincial economy is expected to run an $8.3 billion deficit, a figure that's about $400 million higher than previous estimates.

The Trudeau administration, preferring a greener economic agenda than his predecessor, said it recognized the struggles for a middle class coping with economic contraction brought on in part by lower crude oil prices, which despite recent stability are still down more than $50 per barrel from two years ago.

In Shanghai, the prime minister said better-paying jobs could emerge on both sides of the Pacific with a stronger focus on low-carbon partnerships.

"Just as Canada will look to ways to lead the clean energy transition, we know that China will do the same," he said.

An op-ed in The National Post (Canada) said Trudeau's effort was short-changing the backbone of the Canadian economy. The oil and natural gas sector for Canada, the piece reads, is the "last bastion of well-paying private-sector jobs accessible to workers without advanced degrees."

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