8 Canada touts leadership on coal
Monday, November 13, 2017 Environment advocates push Canada to do more World
Environment Minister Catherine Mckenna is touting Canadian leadership before she heads to Germany for the latest round of talks on the Paris climate change agreement, where she is expected to showcase additional buy-in to the “global alliance” to phase out coal-fired energy that she created with the United Kingdom last month.
Mckenna said she will unveil new details of the pact next Thursday at an event on the sidelines of the climate talks.
This will include more countries and businesses signing on to the alliance, which among other things will aim to help developing countries move from coal to cleaner energy sources like wind and solar, Mckenna said.
“We know that coal is not the energy source of the future,” she said in an interview this week.
“People can see there are very tangible things we are doing, and I think it’s also important to show Canada’s leadership.”
The annual United Nations COP climate change conference began in Bonn, Germany on Nov. 6. Delegates from around the world are congregating to discuss the Paris Agreement, which was struck two years ago and includes pledges from more than 190 countries to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change to keep global warming under 2 degrees by 2100.
Mckenna, who will attend the conference from Nov. 13 to 16, said Canada will highlight the “concrete” actions it has taken to reduce emissions, including Ottawa’s plan to impose carbon pricing on provinces that don’t already have a tax or cap and trade program, as well as the planned phase-out of coal-fired energy by 2030.
But environmental advocates say the time has come for Canada to do more, especially as it prepares to take over the rotating presidency of the G7 next year.
“Most of the policies that we have on the table, we could increase the stringency,” said Erin Flanagan, policy director at the Pembina Institute. She said this round of climate talks is critical in part because negotiators are writing the rulebook for how the Paris agreement — which comes into effect in 2020 — will be implemented.
Upon taking power in 2015, the Liberal government kept the emissions targets that were widely lambasted as too lax under the previous Conservative administration: 30 per cent below the 2005 level by 2030.
activists demonstrate against coal energy in Bonn, germany, ahead of the United nations climate conference.