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Canada expects collective responses to climate challenges at COP28: Canadian minister

Canada expects collective responses to climate challenges at COP28: Canadian minister
27 Nov 2023 13:02

At COP28, Canada will actively engage in negotiations on crucial aspects of the Paris Agreement's implementation, particularly focusing on securing a collective response to the first Global Stocktake (GST) to align global efforts and deliver on climate ambition, Steven Guilbeault, Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

Canada also looks forward to comprehensive responses to loss and damage, and on energy transition to supporting global renewable energy and leading efforts to phase out coal power, he said in an email interview with WAM from Ottawa.

Scheduled for 30th November to 12th December 2023 at Expo City Dubai, COP28, the 28th UN Conference on Climate Change is expected to attract 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

Support for ambitious COP

Guilbeault emphasised Canada’s support to the COP28 Presidency’s call to disrupt ‘business-as-usual’ and accelerate the energy transition.

“We will support the UAE’s ambitious goal to make COP28 the most inclusive ever. This includes through the meaningful participation of those at the frontlines of climate change such as indigenous peoples, women, youth, and civil society,” added the minister who will be a co-facilitator for the negotiations at COP28 on the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement.

He explained that Canada’s objectives in these negotiations are to promote ambitious and inclusive climate action by all countries and non-state actors to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

Supporting climate efforts by the poorest and most vulnerable countries; and ensuring maximum transparency and environmental integrity, reflecting the scientific consensus on climate change, are the other objectives, Guilbeault added.

He expressed hope that COP28 can offer a path forward to achieve ambitious outcomes and a course-correction through the first global stocktake.

Devastating climate impacts

Canada and countries around the world continue to experience the devastating impacts of climate change, the minister pointed out.

In Summer 2023, he noted, communities across Canada faced the devastating realities of wildfires as well as floods and heatwaves. As an Arctic nation that is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world – three times faster in the North – Canada understands the importance of ambitious global climate action and collaboration, Guilbeault said.

“We recognise the need to accelerate global efforts to keep the goal of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5ºC within reach and avoid the most catastrophic impacts of climate change. We need to do our part in achieving the 1.5°C temperature goal.”

Canadian efforts

The minister said Canada submitted in 2021 an enhanced 2030 greenhouse gas target to the Paris Agreement – to reduce Canada’s emissions by 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“Canada is headed to COP28 in Dubai along with other countries to work to implement the Paris Agreement. As we witness unprecedented weather events become more commonplace, ambitious action is more critical than ever,” he stressed.

Guilbeault suggested that all Parties to the Paris Agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) need to focus on delivering on their existing commitments, while recognising that “we need to do more, and on a faster timeline”.

Canadian pavilion at COP28

Elaborating on the Canadian participation at COP28, the minister said the Government of Canada will host a Canada Pavilion at COP, for the second consecutive year.

It will showcase a whole-of-Canada approach to climate action and leadership on the world stage and serve as a hub for networking and stakeholder engagement, he noted.

Canada’s pavilion will showcase the breadth of Canadian climate leadership and innovation by showcasing Canada’s a comprehensive approach involving all segments of society, as well as the commitments and efforts of all actors, Guilbeault said.

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