The United States and Canada teamed up on Thursday as President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the opening of a “Clean Energy Dialogue” aimed at developing energy technologies to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change.

The North American leaders, who met on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Thursday, said the two countries will build on their “long and productive history” of bilateral cooperation on continental environmental protection and energy trade and technology to tackle clean energy, which they said are “inextricably linked.” Obama and Harper announced plans to work together to build a new energy economy as a key element of broader economic recovery and reinvestment efforts.

“I value our strategic partnership with Canada and look forward to working closely with the prime minister to address the global economic recession and create jobs, to protect our environment through promoting clean energy technologies, and achieve our shared goals in responding to international security challenges,” said Obama.

The leaders discussed practical ways the United States and Canada could encourage the development of clean energy technologies. The leaders established a U.S.-Canada dialogue for cooperation on several energy science and technology issues, including:

“The president and I agree that both our countries must take immediate action to restore economic growth by lowering taxes, ensuring access to credit and unleashing spending that stimulates economic growth,” said Harper. “We also agreed to strengthen our cooperation in the areas of environmental protection and global security.”

The leaders said that United States and Canadian officials will meet in the coming weeks to launch the Clean Energy Dialogue.

“This is not just a U.S. issue or a Canadian issue; it’s a worldwide issue that we’re going to have to confront…We can save consumers money; we can save businesses money…As two relatively wealthy countries, it’s important for us to show leadership in this area…” Obama said.

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