Time to play hide-the-bilateral-working-group

So this corner has taken a sudden, no doubt unhealthy, interest in comparing the intensity of Canada-U.S. joint efforts on climate change with the intensity of Anybody-Else-U.S. joint efforts on climate change. And here’s a curious thing. The State Department website lists four policy areas under the “Press” tab of its website: Afghanistan, Climate Change, Iran, Iraq. Under “Climate Change,” there is a section for “bilateral and regional climate partnerships.” Fifteen countries and regions are listed under this section, and it all looks inherited from the Bush years. One presumes it will all freshen up soon. In the meantime, though, here’s what we find in the Canada section:

The United States and Canada established a Bilateral Working Group on Climate Change in December 2002 to expand and intensify existing bilateral efforts to address global climate change. As a step in that process, on June 14, 2005, the two countries convened the fourth meeting of the Bilateral Working Group in Washington, DC. The two countries engaged in comprehensive discussions of specific ongoing cooperative activities such as carbon cycle research, climate modeling research, capture and reuse of methane emissions, impacts and adaptation research, and agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation.

And indeed it is so. Here’s a State Department recap of the fourth meeting of the Canada-US climate change working group, in 2005. But here’s the thing. I can find no record or evidence that the fifth meeting or any subsequent meeting ever took place. One would hate to see the commitments and engagements everyone made when President Obama visited Ottawa meet the same fate. Wouldn’t one?

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