Screenshot 2015-09-28 21.35.38The U.S. and China took significant steps Thursday to align climate change policy, creating new pressure on Canada to follow suit.

The new agreement signed between the super-powers of the United States and China on reducing climate change marginalizes Canada even more, according to Douglas Macdonald, a senior lecturer at the University of Toronto’s School of the Environment.

“It makes Canada even more of an outlier in terms of the approach that the federal government is taking,” Macdonald said. “The federal government has not been active on the file.”

Macdonald pointed out that under Stephen Harper Canada has been committed to working in alignment with U.S. federal policies, therefore the new international agreement will place more pressure on the country to line up with current climate change deals.

Louise Comeau, executive director of the Climate Action Network in Ottawa, agrees that a North American approach may be in the offing following the new U.S.-China agreement. “Canada will be forced to be accountable because the Americans are going to ensure that that’s the case.”

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