Canada: COP 28 Recommendations for Strengthening Country Climate Ambition

The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

House of Common, Ottawa, ON  K1A 0A6


Hello Sir,

My name is Diane Szoller. I am Canada’s Country Manager for Climate Scorecard, a non-profit organization that monitors the climate policies and programs of leading greenhouse gas-emitting countries. Visit (

Seeing your commitments and progress since 2021 on the federal climate portfolio has been rewarding. This letter is to request and confirm our support for your efforts to announce: 1) a stronger Canadian Declaration for Ambition pledge to the Paris Agreement at COP28 and 2) a strong cap and policy on oil and gas emissions by yearend (promised at COP26).

Prime Minister Trudeau spoke to these items recently, promising at the UN Climate Ambition Summit (September) that Canada would look to keep 1.5°C alive, in moving forward, contribute to increasing ambition and, by the end of 2023, provide a framework to cap fossil fuel emissions.

To clarify our request, a July 2023 report from the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals tells us:

‘With a climate cataclysm looming, the pace and scale of current climate action plans are wholly insufficient to tackle climate change effectively. The IPCC emphasizes to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Emissions must already be decreasing and need to be cut by almost half by 2030, just seven years away. Urgent and transformative action is crucial, going beyond mere plans and promises. It requires raising ambition, covering entire economies and moving towards climate-resilient development while outlining a clear path to achieve net-zero emissions. Time is running out, and immediate measures are necessary to avoid catastrophic consequences and secure a sustainable future for generations to come.’

In 2021, you reaffirmed Canada’s support for the High Ambition Coalition COP26 Leaders’ Statement with other leading countries, which stressed ‘the need to half global emissions by 2030, and call on all Parties yet to do so to deliver more ambitious NDCs in line with a 1.5°C trajectory as soon as possible, and well ahead of COP27.’ Thus, we still need a stronger pledge commitment imminently. Climate Action Tracker’s science shows Canada’s 2021 update to a stronger 40-45% reduction is only consistent with 2°C of warming compared to modelled domestic emissions pathways.

Secondly, thousands of Canadians and numerous agencies have pointed out, particularly this year, the need to cap fossil fuel production and end incentives to this sector, but Canada’s Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) shared this month that Canada’s production of about 4.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude could climb by 10% or about 500,000 bpd to 5.3 million bpd by the end of 2024, according to S&P Global Commodity Insights. That would mark an all-time high for Canadian production, partially given lower production this year due to lengthy facility maintenance requirements. This investment was not to increase extraction but to enhance the efficiency of existing facilities to operate at full capacity. This offers no projection of additional climate consequences or impact on Canada’s NDC targets to reach a 40-45% reduction of 2005 emissions by 2030. We must connect the dots.

A recent Oil Change International report (released just before the UN Climate Ambition Summit (in September), reminds us that only 20 countries are responsible for nearly 90% of the CO₂ emissions threatened by new oil and gas fields and fracking wells planned between 2023 and 2050. If these countries proceed, committed carbon concentrations will be 190% over the global 1.5°C budget, risking the more dangerous 2°C of warming. It goes on to note that five of these countries with the greatest economic means to phase out new production include the USA, Canada, Australia, Norway and the UK. Their snapshot of Canada follows –

Compliance with UN Secretary-General oil and gas demands
End new oil and gas licensing? Cease new extraction projects? End funding for new oil and gas? Commit to 1.5°C-aligned oil and gas phase-out?
No No Partial policy with major loopholes, biggest G20 funder No

We appreciate all you are doing but hope you can generate significant change at COP28 to protect our planet as well as put Canada on the leadership map. Attached – are two letters from past Canada Climate Minister Catherine McKenna on communications regarding Climate Scorecard’s agenda for global 50% reduction targets by 2030.


Diane Szoller, Canada Country Manager,


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