For immediate release.
Glasgow, 12 November 2021: On the final afternoon of COP26, Canadian climate experts called on Canada to push for strengthening the COP26 decision text. The current text is not strong enough to ensure that warming is limited to 1.5°C to create a just, equitable future. Canada must step up to ensure the legacy of COP26 is not creating loopholes for polluters, steamrolling Indigenous rights and ignoring the impacts of extreme weather on developing countries.
In 2015, Canada helped ensure language on limiting warming to 1.5 degrees was included in the landmark Paris Agreement. But report after report has shown that we’re dangerously off track for a 1.5-aligned future, and communities are already suffering from climate impacts. If COP26 is to truly address the urgency and injustice of this crisis, the decision text must be strengthened. With just hours left in COP26 negotiations, Canada must play a leadership role once again.
Minister Guilbeault must harness his long time experience within the UNFCCC spaces to push for the following:
Do not approve Article 6 if it lacks safeguards for Indigenous Rights. If Canada is serious about reconciliation, it must walk the talk and stand up for Indigenous rights. (Read more on what’s at stake from Indigenous Climate Action.)
Do not approve Article 6 if it contains dangerous loopholes, such as double-counting emissions. A weak Article 6 would encourage false solutions and enable high-emitting countries and companies to continue polluting.
Support and strengthen language on fossil fuels. The first draft of the cover decision contained language on phasing out fossil fuel subsidies and coal; this was further watered down in the version released this morning. It’s not enough to push for a limited phase-out of unabated coal if oil and gas are allowed to expand. Canada should push to ensure the text includes a phase-out of all fossil fuels and subsidies, with timelines that create clarity and accountability.
Support the creation of a facility for Loss and Damage finance. Those at the frontlines of the climate crisis, the majority of whom are women and children in the Global South, are already facing devastating impacts of the climate crisis – and these will only get worse. But the current text still doesn’t reflect the needs of the people most impacted.
Ensure the Glasgow outcome supports a Just Transition for workers and communities.
“COP26 isn’t over. We’re fighting for our future. Civil society walked out of COP26 today to protest the double-talk of complacent governments, who claim to understand the emergency of a world on fire while patting themselves on the back for loophole-ridden half-measures.
“We need champions. This is the first time Steven Guilbeault is representing Canada as Environment Minister. He has the opportunity to make Canada a champion for human rights and climate justice, a leader in keeping warming to 1.5 and showing the way forward for a fossil-free future. We expect Minister Guilbeault and Canadian negotiators to fight with everything they have for a Glasgow decision that proves leaders will act swiftly to deliver a safe, healthy, and just present and future. The children of the world won’t forgive them for anything less.”
-Eddy Pérez, International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada
“It’s the 11th hour at COP26 and it’s time for Canada to step up and prioritize people and the planet. Our country should not sign onto an agreement that undermines climate action. Canada, do not allow cheap hot air that blows a hole in the Paris Agreement. Ensure that Indigenous rights are fully protected. Support Loss and Damage. Do not agree to weasel words that undermine the critical task of phasing out fossil fuels. No agreement is better than the agreement that is on the table.”
-Dale Marshall, National Climate Program Manager, Environmental Defence
« En tant qu’ancien activiste, Steven Guilbeault connaît bien la nature des stratagèmes de l’industrie fossile, qui s’est démenée pendant toute cette COP pour maintenir le statu quo ou se trouver des échappatoires technologiques. Nous demandons donc au ministre de même qu’aux négociateurs canadiens de tout faire en leur pouvoir pour s’assurer que le texte final de cette conférence reflète l’urgence de la situation et s’attaque le plus clairement et rapidement à la production des énergies fossiles, qui comprend le charbon, mais aussi le pétrole et le gaz. »
-Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, analyste des politiques climatiques, Équiterre
“Trying to stop climate change without mentioning a phase-out of all fossil fuels is like trying to stop the pandemic without mentioning the Covid-19 virus. Global governments have spent decades talking about the need to reduce emissions while having almost nothing to say about the need to reduce the dominant source of those emissions: the production and combustion of coal, oil and gas. The floods, fires and storms wrecking havoc across communities around the world tell us how well that approach has worked. A test of credibility for COP26 will be whether governments like Canada’s stand up for a COP outcome that centres the need to phase-out fossil fuel subsidies and invest in an equitable transition to clean, renewable energy systems.”
-Catherine Abreu, Founder & Executive Director, Destination Zero
“Since we are disappointed by the insufficient commitments of the Canadian government regarding the greenhouse gas reduction targets, we should not let Canada abandon workers. The fight against climate change must be accompanied by a just transition for workers and their communities, and we expect clear commitments on this subject from the Canadian government. »
-Denis Bolduc, secrétaire général, Fédération des travailleurs et des travailleuses du Québec
“Minister Guilbeault and the Canadian delegation at COP26 cannot afford to make empty declarations that compromise the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable people, mostly women, to climate-induced crises. And yet, Trudeau announced that climate finance will use a systems approach toward building climate resilience for those on the frontlines. Canadians are here engaging, writing, speaking, advocating and marching for themselves, each other, and all people around the world. We expect Canada to step up with commitments and plans that unlock processes to rebuild trust, transparency and accountability with the global south. »
-Mueni Mutinda, Public Policy Advisor, Canadian Foodgrains Bank
For media inquiries:
Vicky Coo, Communications lead, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada
+44 7375 375915 (Glasgow number), firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat Canada is a coalition of more than 130 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.