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Canada Leads US In Greenhouse Gas Emission Cuts: Baird

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By IBTimes Staff Reporter | February 18, 2013 4:57 PM EST

John Baird, foreign affairs minister said on Sunday that Canada can teach some lessons to the U.S. government on cutting down greenhouse gas emission.

The sharp comment comes days after U.S. ambassador to Canada, David Jacobson, urged Canada to take note of president Obama's climate initiative.

"We adopted the same goals and objectives in terms of climate change ... We worked with the Obama administration and harmonized vehicle emission standards, light truck standards," said Mr Baird, according to Maclean news portal.

"We're also taking concrete direct action with respect to dirty, coal fired electricity generation," the news portal quoted Mr Baird as saying.

"Maybe the United States could join Canada on that file."

After years of being in lockstep with the United States on climate change initiatives, the foreign affairs minister told the news portal that Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has gone ever further on coal control projects.

"We're the only country in the world that's committed to getting out of the dirty coal electricity generation business," said the minister in a blunt rejoinder to Mr David's interpretation of Mr Obama's State of Union Message, according to the news portal.

"These are real meaningful steps that will either meet or even exceed the work that's been done thus far in the United States."

Commenting on Mr Obama's message last week, David Jacobson said that the more progress made to reduce greenhouse gas emission, the better off the world would be.

"We all need to do as much as we can. And that is true in your country and in mine," Mr Jacobson told The Canadian Press last week.

"Obviously the more that the energy industry - whether it is the oil sands in Canada or the energy industry in the United States, or any place else - the more progress they can make to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to reduce their consumption of water, to other environmental consequences, the better off we all are." Mr Jacobson added. 

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