GATINEAU, QC, May 21, 2021 /CNW/ - Over the past two days, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, participated virtually in the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers' Meeting hosted by the UK. He was joined by the Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, for the discussions on net zero and clean-energy transition.
Work at this meeting focused on increasing ambition on climate change, accelerating the transition to clean energy, conserving nature and addressing biodiversity loss. Ministers committed to putting climate and the environment at the centre of pandemic recovery efforts and investments. Canada has committed over $53 billion toward its green recovery to date.
Among other things, Minister Wilkinson highlighted Canada's new ambitious emission reduction target—or Nationally Determined Contribution—and promoted the global phase-out of unabated coal-fired electricity and the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which Canada co-leads with the UK. All G7 member countries have committed to reaching net–zero emissions by 2050, and the G7 called on other countries to make similar commitments in the coming months. Minister Wilkinson shared Canada's approach, including enshrining the requirement to meet net zero into law and ensuring the path is determined using the best input and advice. Building on Canada's 2018 G7 Presidency, where all G7 members signed on the Equal by 30 Campaign, G7 Ministers agreed this year to strengthen the principles of the Equal by 30 Campaign to put gender equality and diversity at the heart of the energy transition, an initiative spearheaded by Canada.
Minister Wilkinson also reaffirmed Canada's commitment to a global goal of conserving thirty percent of land and oceans by 2030, and highlighted Canada's efforts to protect nature and biodiversity at home, calling on other countries to make a similar commitment. Minister O'Regan highlighted the importance of putting our energy workers and good jobs at the heart of Canada's plan to reach net zero by 2050.
The G7 continues to advance efforts on ocean health and coastal resilience, by recognizing Canada-led initiatives such as the Ocean Plastics Charter and pledging to strengthen support for the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance. Canada said it will work with its G7 partners to convene a meeting of leading scientific and technical experts in coming months to discuss scaling up knowledge and monitoring of the North Atlantic Biogeochemical Carbon Pump (BCP), a process that is crucial to the ocean's ability to absorb carbon, but which is currently under-studied. Canada also emphasized that more partnerships and investments are needed to address marine plastic litter. This is why Canada is participating in the important work under way through the United Nations Environment Assembly and is supportive of beginning negotiations towards a new global agreement on plastics.
"This pivotal year is shaping up as one of transition and renewal, as the international community works to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and brings to bear the same urgency and focus on tackling our other great global crises, climate change and biodiversity loss. The G7 is playing a leading role in raising the bar to limit temperature increases, conserve nature and plan for a green recovery from COVID-19. This work is continuing to build international momentum ahead of COP26, where, six years after the Paris Agreement, the world must come together again to meet the urgent need before us."
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
"Climate change is a global threat that needs global solutions. We need to be ambitious, and Canada is answering the call. We're working with our international partners to lower emissions, create jobs, and leave no one behind."
– The Honourable Seamus O'Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources
The G7 brings together Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK, the United States and the European Union. The UK invited Australia, India, South Africa and South Korea as guests to join parts of this year's G7 meetings.
The G7 presidency rotates annually between member countries. It sets the agenda for the year in consultation with G7 partners. The UK holds the presidency in 2021. Canada last held the presidency in 2018.
This G7 Climate and Environment Ministers' Meeting is one of seven Ministerial Tracks leading up to the G7 Leaders' Summit June 11–13 in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, UK.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
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