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Sustainable development at home and abroad: Advancing global action on climate change

Advancing global action on climate change

Canada ratified the Paris Agreement in October 2016. In December 2016, Canada’s First Ministers adopted the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, the policy framework that will enable Canada to achieve our commitments under the Paris Agreement. The Pan-Canadian Framework puts Canada on a path toward meeting our target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, while also growing the economy and building resilience to a changing climate.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change

The Pan-Canadian Framework is our plan—developed with the provinces and territories and with input from Indigenous peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations and Canadians from across the country—to meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets, grow the economy, and build resilience to a changing climate.

The framework is built on 4 pillars: pricing carbon pollution, complementary actions to reduce emissions, adaptation and climate resilience, and clean technology, innovation, and jobs. Under these pillars there are more than 50 concrete measures that cover all sectors of the Canadian economy and put Canada on a path toward meeting our Paris Agreement greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Actions under these pillars support goals across our strategy:

  • to learn more about our pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon and other efforts to reduce emissions, as well as activities to build resilience to climate impacts, see the Effective Action on Climate Change chapter
  • to learn more about measures to promote renewable energy and help make communities and businesses more energy efficient, see the Clean Energy chapter
  • to learn more about action to make Canada’s infrastructure more resilient to a changing climate, see the Modern and Resilient Infrastructure chapter
  • to learn more about how Canada is driving innovation and growth to ensure Canadian businesses are competitive in the global low-carbon economy, see the Clean Growth chapter

Additional actions are presented in the Pan-Canadian Framework. Progress on the implementation of the framework is reported to First Ministers on an annual basis. In addition, national actions taken under the framework are reported on through Canada’s regular submission of National Communications and Biennial Reports to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Beyond action at home, we’re also helping to maintain global momentum on climate action and implementation of the Paris Agreement. For example, at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Katowice, Poland, in 2018, Canada played a key role in adopting the Paris rulebook to operationalize the agreement, and announcing the creation of an Indigenous Peoples Focal Point at the UNFCCC. The Focal Point, the first of its kind, will coordinate and lead work on issues related to Indigenous peoples and climate change. It will also promote awareness of Indigenous perspectives on climate change and serve as a technical expert and advisor.

Canada was also one of the first countries to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The objective of the amendment is to phase down global emissions of hydrofluorocarbons, which are potent greenhouse gases used in products such as refrigerators, air conditioners and aerosols. To support our commitment to the Kigali Amendment, as well as the Pan-Canadian Framework, we have published regulations to reduce consumption of hydrofluorocarbons by 85% in Canada by 2036.

Finally, Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, through its action area on environment and climate action, is guiding Canada’s efforts in partner countries to support government planning and initiatives to mitigate and adapt to climate change; to advance women's leadership and decision making; and to create economic opportunities for women in clean energy. Women and girls are particularly at risk when it comes to threats from climate change and environmental degradation. Resource scarcity, coupled with a gender imbalance in household responsibilities, means that climate change has a disproportionate impact on women and girls. However, overwhelming evidence shows that investing in gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls acts as a force multiplier on all other development goals, including environmental goals.

For more information:

Canada’s G7 Presidency

Key outcomes of the 2018 G7 Summit in Charlevoix were the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities, the Oceans Plastics Charter and the G7 Plastic Innovation Challenge.

Charlevoix Blueprint

The Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities recognizes the direct impact of global temperature rise on oceans and seeks to pursue global efforts towards a sustainable and climate-resilient future, in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation and economic growth, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change while ensuring a just transition to the broad participation of women and girls, both at home and in developing countries.

Ocean Plastics Charter

Canada also spearheaded the development of an Ocean Plastics Charter as an annex to the Blueprint, which was adopted initially by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European Union. As of April 2019, 18 governments and 54 businesses and organizations have endorsed the Charter, committing to move toward a more sustainable approach to producing, using and managing plastics, reducing plastic waste and marine litter. Globally, it is estimated that more than 8 million tonnes of plastic enters the oceans every year from land, resulting in at least $13 billion in damage to marine ecosystems worldwide. Recognizing the significant threat that plastics pose to our freshwater ecosystems, oceans and wildlife, the Charter seeks to advance ambitious targets and solutions for domestic and international action to reduce plastic waste and marine litter. The Charter aims to mobilize all actors to take action on plastic waste, including ‎all levels of governments, industry, civil society and the public.

G7 Plastic Innovation Challenge

At Charlevoix, Québec, in 2018, Ministers of the Environment were tasked with advancing a G7 Plastics Innovation Challenge. In Halifax in September 2018, G7 Environment Ministers agreed to launch the G7 Innovation Challenge to address marine plastic litter. Recognizing that countries face different issues, G7 countries committed to undertake international and/or domestic initiatives in support of a common objective of developing innovative social or technological solutions throughout the plastics lifecycle. Canada announced $20 million for international and $12 million for domestic innovation challenges to address plastic pollution

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