Calgary Herald



UNITED NATIONS, N. Y. • Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined world leaders who rushed to put their signatures Friday to a global treaty on climate change in hope of bringing it into force. Now comes the hard part. Canada is nowhere near its target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. Emissions are still inching up. A national plan is still being worked out.

Indeed, if you’ve got an idea how all this could work, please tell the federal government. Really — it wants your advice.

Trudeau used his appearance at the United Nations signing ceremony to promote the new website, canada. ca/climateact­ion, and the Twitter hashtag where the government is seeking suggestion­s from Canadians.

“We’re looking for ideas on how to reduce emissions,” he told a news conference.

“On the best way to move forward with carbon. And (on) how we can best prepare for and, if possible, avoid the impacts of climate change ... It’s important that all Canadians be part of this conversati­on.”

After signing, countries must formally approve the Paris Agreement through their domestic procedures.

“We are in a race against time,” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the gathering. “The era of consumptio­n without consequenc­es is over.”

Trudeau promised not to give up. In his first speech to the UN General Assembly hall, Trudeau said: “With my signature, I give you our word that Canada’s efforts will not cease.”

The agreement enters into force once it is ratified by 55 countries accounting for 55 per cent of global emissions, which is now expected to happen, given the resounding reaction Friday.

The event broke the record for most first-day signatures for an agreement of its kind.

The pact negotiated last year differs from the old Kyoto accord in several important ways:

• Every major emitter has set individual targets under this one — unlike Kyoto, which excluded fast-developing countries.

• It does not include broad global emissions targets, nor is it binding.

• It does include a mechanism that will report on each country’s progress — it’s a peer-pressure strategy.

The broad goal of the agreement is to keep global temperatur­es from rising less than 2 C from pre- industrial levels, to stave off the most catastroph­ic effects of rising sea levels.

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