A new proposed draft of the global climate agreement, released today by the French government just days away from the conclusion of the major climate conference, reveals that critical issues are still unresolved.

The latest draft has good measures but certain crucial elements are missing and so it still does not ensure that we will avoid dangerous future warming of 3 degrees or more.

Canada has mostly played a constructive role at the U.N. climate summit in Paris, but there is more that Canada can do to move the negotiations forward at this important stage.

Most crucially, Canada must increase its support for a mechanism (known as the Paris Ambition Mechanism) for reviewing and strengthening national pledges from Paris before 2020. If there is no clear requirement in the final agreement for countries to increase their ambition before 2020, the world will be locked into a track for an unthinkable temperature increase.

To provide momentum for the Paris Ambition Mechanism, Canada should signal that it will strengthen its domestic climate targets in the coming months. The previous government’s weak pledge should be discarded once and for all.

Canada also needs to continue its leadership in working with other delegations to ensure there is a specific reference in the articles of the Paris agreement to protecting the rights of Indigenous peoples and to ensure a just transition for workers as we decarbonize our economies.

Canada also needs to stop hindering progress in the area of creating a dedicated Loss and Damage Fund. Canada’s unwillingness to agree to a future discussion on creating such a fund reduces the likelihood of an agreement in Paris. This fund would assist those facing impacts of climate change which go beyond what can possibly be adapted too, such as residents of countries that could cease to exist from rising sea-levels. Canada continues to support a misguided U.S. position, which falsely claims that any discussion of this issue would somehow open parties up to liability and compensation. Instead, Canada needs to show solidarity with and support for the most vulnerable people, communities, and countries in the world.

Finally, Canada must work harder to ensure the agreement contains commitments to predictable levels of financing for both mitigation and adaptation, before and after 2020. Because this financing is required to help developing countries adapt to climate impacts and develop more cleanly, these finance commitments are a crucial sticking point in achieving a successful agreement.

For more on Canada’s role at COP21, read our report here.

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.


For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, (416) 570-2878 (cell);ncarniol@environmentaldefence.ca (Paris)

Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, (647) 468-3641 (cell);tehlich@environmentaldefence.ca (Toronto)