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Administrator Regan joins Mexican, Canadian Counterparts in Merida, Mexico for 29th CEC Council Session

MERIDA, YUCATAN – Today, U.S. EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan joined Mexico’s Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources María Luisa Albores González and Canada’s Minister for the Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault to announce the second cycle of the EJ4Climate grant program – a program launched by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) to support environmental justice and climate resilience for underserved, vulnerable, and Indigenous communities across North America. The announcement was made at the 29th Council Session of the CEC held in Merida, Mexico.

“As the impacts of the climate crisis grow more severe, it’s more urgent than ever that we prioritize protections for our most vulnerable communities and develop durable, community-driven solutions,” said EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan. “I’m so proud to join our CEC partners as we launch the second round of the EJ4Climate grant program and support projects that foster climate resilience and advance environmental justice across North America.”

The new EJ4Climate cycle will be funded with $2 million in grant funding, supported by $1 million from EPA, and will focus on projects that strengthen environmental education to build resilience to climate change.

During the Council Session, Administrator Regan and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts reinforced their commitment towards establishing shared priorities and action for environmental cooperation in North America with a series of new funding commitments, including to address community resilience to climate change in North America and an initiative to address threats to food security by increasing our understanding of traditional Indigenous practices and knowledge related to food systems, among others.

In addition, the North American ministers discussed progress on the two initiatives announced during last year’s CEC session: the large scale initiative on Air Quality Improvement for Environmental Justice, and development of a  Community Environmental Justice Network, which will begin implementation in 2022.

The three ministers released their Ministerial Statement on the final day, recommitting to close cooperation and collaboration on the most important environmental issues facing North America. Read the Ministerial Statement in English here and in Spanish here.

The Council Session included meetings with winners of the 2022 Youth Innovation Challenge, which focused on recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a dialogue with experts and members of the public.

About the CEC

The Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) was established in 1994 by the governments of Canada, Mexico and the United States through the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation, a parallel environmental agreement to NAFTA. As of 2020, the CEC is recognized and maintained by the Environmental Cooperation Agreement, in parallel with the new Free Trade Agreement of North America. The CEC brings together a wide range of stakeholders, including the general public, Indigenous people, youth, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the business sector, to seek solutions to protect North America’s shared environment while supporting sustainable development for the benefit of present and future generations.

The CEC is governed and funded equally by the Government of Canada through Environment and Climate Change Canada, the Government of the United States of Mexico through the Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, and the Government of the United States of America through the Environmental Protection Agency.

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