Ottawa, ON – This is a significant day in the history of action on climate change. Today, more than 165 countries will sign the Paris climate agreement, sending a clear signal that the world is committed to taking action and facing up to one of the greatest threats we face.

By committing to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, and to work for that limit to be 1.5 degrees, the Paris agreement is the first global accord on climate change that fully acknowledges the science of climate change. The Canadian government, by joining the rest of the world in New York, is showing that it is committed to the 1.5 degree goal it championed in Paris.

But the hard work lies ahead. In Canada, the federal government needs to take decisive action to reach its Paris commitments to reduce global warming, as well as strengthen those commitments so they are more in line with the long-term goals of a carbon neutral future by the mid 21st century. The next year will be an important one as the Canadian government develops its climate change framework and implements policies to reduce Canada’s carbon pollution, including dedicating significant funding for action here and around the world.

Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change has already committed to updating and strengthening Canada’s target to reduce carbon pollution. Just as importantly, the government must take action to increase clean energy production, increase the efficiency of our cars and buildings, and start phasing out fossil fuels so that Canada is powered 100 per cent by renewable energy by 2050.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

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For media requests, please contact: Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-570-2878 (cell); ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca