UPDATE 1-White House says Canada could do more on climate ahead of Paris talks

Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:05pm EDT
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By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton

WASHINGTON Oct 20 (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday the new Canadian government could do more to address climate change ahead of international negotiations on the issue next month in Paris, a top priority for President Barack Obama in his 15 months remaining in office.

Obama was expected to phone Canada's Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau on Tuesday to congratulate him on his party's win on Monday, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters, hinting that climate could be part of the discussion.

"Canada has also made a substantial and important commitment in advance of the Paris climate talks. We believe that it's possible that there is more that Canada can do in this regard," Earnest told reporters at a briefing.

Trudeau had pledged during his campaign to try to repair the Canada-U.S. relationship, which has been strained by the long delay in a decision on the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline, which had been backed strongly by outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

"I think it would be shortsighted to reduce the relationship between our two countries to just one issue," Earnest said.

He said the completion of the Canadian election was unlikely to affect the timing of a U.S. State Department decision on the pipeline.

Obama still expects to make a decision on the pipeline, designed to run from Canada to Texas, before leaving office in January 2017, Earnest said.   Continued...