PARIS – As the Paris climate talks move into the critical second week of negotiations, Canadian civil society groups have been encouraged by the progressive attitude of the Canadian delegation here in Paris. Entering into Ministerial level talks, Canada has an opportunity to show leadership on critical issues that will help to secure a climate deal that gives us a chance at a safer climate future.
“Canada recently announced support for a climate plan that would limit global warming to 1.5 degrees,” says Steven Guilbeault of Équiterre. “This is an incredibly promising signal that Canada really is ready to lead when it comes to ambition and securing a strong global climate deal. Now Canada has a chance to leverage this leadership across key pieces of this agreement and this is what we hope to see over the coming days.”
Current commitments on the table from countries lead to three degrees or more of global warming. In order to ensure that we are not locked into this low ambition, the deal must include a mechanism that requires countries to increase their commitments both before 2020 and in 5 year increments beyond 2020 to ensure efforts can be scaled up to align with what science demands.
“If Canada publicly announces its plans to revisit its own national commitment using the provincial consultation processes they can invite other countries to follow their lead and increase ambition prior to 2020,” says Catherine Abreu of Ecology Action Centre. “This is essential to ensure we do not wind up with an agreement that locks us into at least 3 degrees of warming.”
The agreement currently hinges on various aspects of the negotiations falling into place and unlocking some of the particularly challenging pieces of the text. Ministers will be expected to resolve these issues to allow the French president to produce a new text version by Wednesday so that the final deal can be completed by Friday.
“There are two ways the pieces of the Paris puzzle could come together – either in a weak way that ties us to dangerous levels of global warming, or in a hopeful way that gives us a fighting chance at avoiding dangerous climate change,” says Dale Marshall of Environmental Defence. “The nature of the puzzle is that you need all the right pieces to get the final picture right, so high ambition and leadership is needed across the board for a strong outcome.”
“Developing countries arrived at the table in Paris with unprecedented commitments to reduce their own emissions,” says Adam Scott of Environmental Defence. “Developed countries must respond with their fair share on climate finance, emissions reductions, and recognizing the need to support loss and damage for the most vulnerable when adaptation is no longer an option.”
Canada has already taken a promising step with last week’s finance announcement, and this week’s support for 1.5 degrees is similarly welcome.
“The promise of $2.65 billion in climate finance over the next 5 years, including the 150 million to the African Energy Renewable Initiative, was a welcome addition to the discussions in Paris ,” says Erin Flanagan, Pembina Institute. “Despite this, Canada must do more to unlock public and private capital to support communities at the forefront of climate impacts.”
Canadian civil society looks forward to supporting Canada in playing not only a constructive role in these critical final days of the talks, but also a leadership role.
“Action and a strong deal in Paris will help Canada as it returns home and works closely with Provinces to develop a plan that puts Paris promises into action,” says Karen Mahon of Forest Ethics. “Canada is redefining itself in Paris, but it will need to take its leadership home to prove that they really are back.
For further inquiries:
Catherine Abreu, Ecology Action Centre, +33 7 88 80 66 59, firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Guilbeault, Equiterre, +1-514-231-2650
Erin Flanagan, Pembina Institute, +1-587-581-1701
Dale Marshall, Environmental Defence, +1-613-868-9917
Karen Mahon, Forest Ethics, +1-604-836-5992
Adam Scott, Environmental Defence, +1-416-347-3858