NEW YORK – Prime Minister Stephen Harper is in the U.S. again this week to kick off a string of international meetings focusing on climate change, trade relations and the economy.
Harper meets today with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in what senior government officials describe as a “courtesy call” to discuss Canadian trade with the city and state.
Later, the prime minister attends a dinner on climate change hosted by Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the United Nations, in advance of a high-level climate summit this week.
Harper is one of about 25 world leaders invited to discuss the environment in the hopes of finding common ground before countries meet in Copenhagen in December to sign a new global climate change treaty.
The Harper government has been largely silent on what a new treaty should look like, saying it needs to co-operate closely with the White House on climate change.
But the U.S. has been roundly criticized for not addressing climate change adequately. Legislation aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions has been bogged down in the Senate.
Also in New York on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama told the climate summit: “We are determined to act.”
Harper returns to New York on Thursday for a meeting with other leaders involved in the group Friends of Democratic Pakistan.
The group, established last year to bolster aid and development in Pakistan, includes Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari.
Harper also attends the Group of 20 leaders’ summit at the end of the week in Pittsburgh, where leaders will attempt to agree on how much money rich nations should give developing countries to cut their greenhouse gases.