Ottawa welcomes Biden as ally in climate fight

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris

OTTAWA — Federal cabinet ministers are welcoming Joe Biden’s election as the next U.S. president as an opportunity to advance the fight against climate change.

Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Infrastructure Minister Catherine McKenna were among those to specifically mention climate change as they took to Twitter to welcome Biden’s victory over Donald Trump.

McKenna, who previously served as Canada’s environment minister, appeared to take a veiled shot at the Trump administration by describing the last four years as a “long, tough slog” when it came to fighting climate change.

Biden has promised that one of his first actions after being sworn in as president on Jan. 20 will be to have the U.S. rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement after the Trump administration officially left the treaty last week.

Blair Feltmate, who headed the Canadian government’s expert panel on climate change adaptation, says Biden’s election should serve as a shot in the arm for the Trudeau government’s own plans to build a greener economy.

Yet Biden’s election is also expected to pose a further challenge to Canada’s oil and gas sector, as the president-elect has indicated he plans to cancel approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.