At COP26 – UN Climate Change Conference UK 2021, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada’s ambitious and enhanced plans to support the global phase-out of thermal coal, help developing countries transition to clean fuel alternatives as quickly as possible, and reduce pollution in the oil and gas sector.

Since signing the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, the Government of Canada has taken significant action to address climate change. As a climate leader, Canada has put in place measures to reduce pollution to work toward meeting the country’s commitments, and achieving a net-zero economy by 2050. As the world shifts to a cleaner and greener economy, the Canadian government is continuing to take a leadership role in the fight against climate change.

“Climate action can’t wait. Since 2015, Canada has been a committed partner in the fight against climate change, and as we move to a net-zero future, we will continue to do our part to cut pollution and build a cleaner future for everyone,” said Trudeau. “Together, we will beat this crisis while creating a green economy and new middle class jobs for Canadians.”

Environmental experts say that ending coal power emissions is one of the single most important steps the world must take in the fight against climate change. That is why the Prime Minister announced that Canada is working toward ending exports of thermal coal by no later than 2030. The ban would follow action already taken, including accelerating the phasing out of conventional coal-fired electricity in our country by 2030, and putting in place investments of more than $185 million to support coal workers and their communities through the transition to cleaner energy.

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To further support the global community’s efforts to phase out coal-fired electricity, the Prime Minister also announced up to $1 billion for the Climate Investment Funds Accelerated Coal Transition Investment Program, through Canada’s international climate finance contribution, to help developing countries transition from coal-fired electricity to clean power as quickly as possible. This investment will lead to the implementation of country-level strategies and associated kick-start projects, build support at the local and regional levels, and accelerate the retirement of existing coal mines and coal power plants, while enabling new economic activities and contributing to a socially inclusive and gender equal transition.

In addition, the Prime Minister announced $25 million in funding to the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program, a partnership with the World Bank. This will help develop and implement clean energy alternatives, and support low- and middle-income countries in the transition to a cleaner economy.

Canada is among the world’s biggest oil and gas producers, and all Canadians have benefitted from the sector’s contributions to the economy. As Canada and the world move to clean energy alternatives, the sector will be supported to continue to adapt, which will spur innovation and help create the jobs of the future.

Canada is the first major oil-producing country moving to capping and reducing pollution from the oil and gas sector to net zero by 2050. To help do this at a pace and scale needed to achieve the shared goal of net zero by 2050, the government will set five-year targets, and will also ensure that the sector makes a meaningful contribution to meeting Canada’s 2030 climate goals.

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Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson have sent letters seeking the advice of the Net-Zero Advisory Body on how best to move forward on this approach.

“Since the world came together for the Paris climate agreement in 2015, Canada has taken great strides in the fight against climate change – but there’s still much work to be done,” said Guilbeault. “With our global partners, we will continue to play a constructive leadership role to move from ambitious hopes to realizing the benefits to our environment.”

Coal-fired electricity is responsible for 20 per cent of global greenhouse emissions.

Canada is the fourth largest producer and third largest exporter of oil in the world. The oil and gas sector is the largest contributor to Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about 25 per cent of total emissions.

Featured image from Twitter @JustinTrudeau: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

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