Canada, France prom­ise to dou­ble down on cli­mate-change fight amid U.S. in­ac­tion

Cape Breton Post - - CANADA - BY LEE BERTHI­AUME

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau and French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, long billed as kin­dred po­lit­i­cal spir­its, agreed Mon­day to a fresh, for­ti­fied at­tack on cli­mate change - hop­ing to keep a shared pri­or­ity at the fore­front of the global agenda de­spite Don­ald Trump’s de­ci­sion to quit the bat­tle­field.

En­vi­ron­ment and Cli­mate Change Min­is­ter Cather­ine McKenna was on hand to sign the new France-Canada part­ner­ship on cli­mate and en­vi­ron­ment in a cer­e­mony at the French pres­i­den­tial palace dur­ing the first day of Trudeau’s of­fi­cial visit to Paris.

“France and Canada today pledge to re­dou­ble their ef­forts and in­crease their co-op­er­a­tion,” Trudeau said in French dur­ing a news con­fer­ence with Macron fol­low­ing the cer­e­mony.

“This ini­tia­tive will en­cour­age and ac­cel­er­ate the achieve­ment of the Paris Agree­ment tar­gets through con­crete mea­sures to make this agree­ment in prin­ci­ple a re­al­ity.”

The part­ner­ship comes as Macron has taken it upon him­self to per­son­ally cham­pion the Paris deal since Trump made good on his threat to with­draw from the cli­mate ac­cord last year.

The France-Canada part­ner­ship, which in­cludes push­ing for a global price on car­bon and re­duc­tions to trans­portre­lated emis­sions, also falls squarely in line with Trudeau’s gov­ern­ment pri­or­i­ties for the G7 in Que­bec this June.

And with France hav­ing the G7 pres­i­dency in 2019, se­nior Cana­dian of­fi­cials said, the hope is that the ex­clu­sive group of na­tions will con­tinue work­ing to­ward the goals laid out by the Paris Agree­ment, with the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity fol­low­ing their lead.

What re­mains un­clear is how Trump will re­spond to any per­ceived at­tempt to force him into a stronger po­si­tion on cli­mate change, though the of­fi­cials in­sist no one is try­ing to back the U.S. pres­i­dent into a cor­ner.

In­ter­est­ingly, the gov­ern­ment is also hop­ing the part­ner­ship will con­vince the French that Canada is in­deed se­ri­ous about fight­ing cli­mate change - and that rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the new Canada-EU free trade deal will even­tu­ally fol­low.

CP PHOTO

Prime Min­is­ter Justin Trudeau, left, shakes hands with French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron as they hold a joint press con­fer­ence at the Palais de l’El­y­see in Paris, France, on Mon­day.

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