This week, Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, is in New York City to participate in the United Nations General Assembly’s Climate Ambition Summit and a week of high-level engagements.

In response to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who is calling on “first movers and doers”, Canada will share its progress on the implementation of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, and its efforts to cut plastic pollution and protect biodiversity. Minister Guilbeault, who was recently named by the COP28 Presidency as co-facilitator of the upcoming discussions on means of implementation for the Paris Agreement global stocktake, will be pushing for increased ambition from all partners.

“Over the past several months, Canadians have experienced a range of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, drought, heatwaves, flooding, and violent storms that have brought incredible destruction to the lives of many in our country,” said Guilbeault. “We know we are not alone in facing the devastating effects of climate change, and we are committed to real climate action, now, and on a faster timeline. We are working hard to be one of the ‘doers,’ taking action both at home, and in our ongoing work with global partners. We will keep fighting for a better climate future for all.”

Canada’s leadership includes the following:

  • The best record on emissions among G7 partners since 2020.
  • Strengthening carbon pollution pricing nationwide while returning all proceeds to Canadians, ensuring that most families get back more than they pay.
  • Eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by the end of the year, making Canada the first to release a rigorous analytical guide that both fulfills its commitment and transparently supports action.
  • Building a clean electricity grid by 2035 through significant investment and new regulations.
  • Overhauling its auto sector so that all new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada by 2035 are zero emission.
  • Raising its ambition on methane, with Canada on track to reduce domestic methane emissions by more than 35 per cent by 2030, compared to 2020 levels, including a target to reduce methane from its oil and gas sector by at least 75 percent by 2030.
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Internationally, Canada has accomplished the following:

  • Doubled the climate finance commitment to accelerate efforts to deliver on the US$100 billion global annual climate finance goal, including an early contribution of $450 million to the Green Climate Fund, a 50 per cent increase from its 2019 pledge.
  • Co-leads the Powering Past Coal Alliance alongside the UK, with the goal of accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy.
  • Pledged $200 million to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund that was established at the Global Environment Facility Assembly in August 2023, making it the first country to contribute.
  • Hosted the first-ever Ministerial on Nature, where participants agreed to form a Nature Champions Network for the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework to help achieve global goals agreed to at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Montréal last year, including protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030.
  • Launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, a partnership of countries around the world committed to accelerating climate action by expanding the carbon pricing coverage to reach 60 percent of global emissions by 2030.
  • Is continuing to address plastic pollution worldwide as an inaugural member of the High Ambition Coalition to EndPlastic Pollution by 2040, and as host of the upcoming fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to develop an ambitious global agreement on plastic pollution.

Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.

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In regard to climate rallies in Canada this past weekend, and leading up to Climate Week, CAN-Rac posted this joint letter on September 18th and issued the following statement:

“For the Canadian federal government, a key demand is to implement a strong, fair emissions cap with no further delays – the only policy currently on the table to begin tackling the outsized climate impact of Canada’s fossil fuel sector. First promised by the Liberals more than two years ago, the cap has been delayed again and again amid intense industry lobbying. People joining the rallies will be calling on Prime Minister Trudeau to stand up to oil and gas companies and deliver policies that put Canadians’ health and future over the profits of big polluters.”

Over the course of Climate Week, Minister Guilbeault is expected to work with partners and build momentum heading into the 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023.

Featured image credit: Guillaime Jaillet/Unsplash

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