Marrakech, Morocco – Despite preoccupation in Canada and the United States with the U.S. election, the global community continued its work on climate action at the U.N. climate summit (COP22), showing modest progress on hammering out details of the Paris Agreement. The Marrakech Action Proclamation from all heads of state and government at COP22 sent a unanimous message to citizens of the world that commitment to climate action continues.
Canada’s role at COP22 was mixed. The Canadian government worked to improve the outcome, for example, by trying to set the stage for countries to increase their carbon reduction ambition over the next two years. However, in other parts of the negotiations the Canadian government did not show the same leadership as last year in Paris to advance important issues.
Most notably, developing countries had looked for more progress on financial assistance for adapting to increasing, unavoidable climate impacts. However, Canada did not increase its pledge to better reflect its fair share of adaptation financing or champion the Adaptation Fund continuing under the Paris Agreement.
One sign of how much more serious developing countries are on climate action came from a group of almost 50 of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable countries. Despite lacking in resources compared to industrialized nations, the Climate Vulnerable Forum committed to having 100 per cent of their domestic energy come from renewables as their contribution to decarbonising the global economy by mid-century.
The Canadian government must now turn its attention to the pan-Canadian framework on climate change. Canada is far from its 2020 target and has the weakest 2030 target in the G7. It’s time Canada step things up, by committing to achieving the 2030 reductions entirely at home, with a view to reducing emissions even further. Canada can do this by seizing opportunities, such as phasing out coal-fired power plants by 2030, setting regulations to cut carbon pollution by 45 per cent by 2025 in the oil and gas sector, and instituting a pan-Canadian price on carbon.
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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