Spotlight Activity: Canada Signals Intention to Increase Its Paris Agreement Pledge
The science is clear: Canada must cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030 and get to net-zero emissions by 2050, or risk a dramatic increase in deadly health impacts, sea level rise, extreme weather, and biodiversity loss, states Devon Page of the non-profit Ecojustice Canada. This requires collective action with shared responsibility between all provinces. The impacts of climate change will not respect provincial boundaries so strong collaboration is needed.
The recent October UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IMPP) report shows if current NDC commitments from countries around the world in the Paris Agreement are met, global emissions in 2030 will not limit temperatures to 1.5?, even if ambitions increase after 2030. Reports state warming is likely to reach 1.5? between 2030 and 2052 if it continues to increase at the current rate. Thus, it is reassuring that Environment Minister Catherine McKenna has confirmed this month prior to COP24 meetings in Katowice, Poland that ‘Canada will be ready to set tougher emissions-cutting plans when the Paris climate-change agreement begins the end of 2020.’ Discussion by countries to commit to more ambitious targets to reach the Paris Agreement results from three years of finalizing the rules needed to put the Agreement into action. Canada has worked diligently at the global negotiating table to keep the increase in average global temperature goal as close to 1.5? as possible.
Limiting 1.5°C requires rapid transitions in energy, land, urban environment and infrastructure such as transportation, buildings, and industrial systems. As part of Canada’s more ambitious action, a new climate-change institute is proposed in 2019 to assess gaps to reach our targets announced at https://www.nationalobserver.com/2018/12/05/news/mckenna-concerned-global-politics-may-keep-paris-agreement-rules-bay.
This comes atop the UN IPCC report, which stated reducing emissions over the next 12 years is critical to keep warming below 1.5°C to avert accelerated risks of acute heat waves, wildfires, drought, sea level rise, and large-scale poverty expected at 2°C. Emissions need to fall by 45 percent between 2010 and 2030 and hit net zero in 2050. Canada’s existing target is 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Canada’s existing commitment to the Paris Agreement – http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2017/eccc/En4-294-2016-eng.pdf
Status: Right Direction
COP24 has seen the emergence of a new “High Ambition Coalition,” that includes the EU, Canada, Costa Rica, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, Norway, Fiji and the Marshall Islands. These countries are determined to increase their targets and actions by 2020. They call upon other governments and non-party stakeholders to do the same.
To request action supporting Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s announcement to raise Canada’s ambition for the Paris Agreement, please contact her, with the following message:
Thank you for your recent commitment to raise Canada’s targets for the Paris Agreement. Let’s put Canada on the map. The Climate Change Performance Index 2019, published this month compares climate performance of 56 countries and the EU, together responsible for more than 90 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. It states no country has performed well enough to keep temperatures within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels. COP24 calls for more ambition to keep temperatures within 1.5°C of pre-industrial levels. The IPCC report asks for stronger targets, outputs and tracking processes to ensure good progress is made. Canada is listening!
The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Mail: 200 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard, Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0H3
Tel: 819-938-3860 or toll-free: 1-800-668-6767