A world rich in biodiversity and free of plastic waste will provide the kind of environment that best supports the health and economic security of Canadians. Both these goals help in the fight against climate change at home and globally to build a sustainable future and to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity for communities around the world.
Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, was in New York City this week to attend meetings and events during Climate Week in New York on the margins of the 77th United Nations General Assembly. These events provided opportunities to engage with partners to focus on finding solutions to global problems such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.
Minister Guilbeault had a number of bilateral meetings with climate leaders, including John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, with whom he discussed common priorities in advance of COP27 such as climate finance and Just Energy Transition Partnerships. The Minister also met with Jennifer Morgan, Special Envoy for International Climate Action for Germany, to discuss important progress underway on the Climate Finance Delivery Plan. Minister Guilbeault had constructive meetings ahead of COP27 with the Honourable Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment for Antigua and Barbuda, who is Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States; the Honourable Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment for Rwanda; Alok Sharma, COP26 President; and Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission for the European Green Deal.
Minister Guilbeault participated in the first gathering of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution. Canada is a founding member of the Coalition, and the Minister’s participation was an opportunity to re-confirm Canada’s commitment to end plastic pollution by 2040. Minister Guilbeault advocated for an ambitious new legally binding global treaty on plastic pollution and shared details of the imminent ban on harmful single-use plastics in Canada.
Canada was pleased to join with the United Kingdom and other high ambition partners in setting out a vision for nature financing through its joint “10-Point Plan for financing biodiversity.” Significant investments in biodiversity from all sources and at all levels are needed to demonstrate global leadership, to incentivize countries to adopt an ambitious post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, and support developing countries in implementing it. Canada will welcome the world to Montréal from December 7 to 19, 2022, for the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, to further these important discussions and put measures in place to safeguard the wellbeing of the planet.
Minister Guilbeault also participated in a panel discussion with climate leaders hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions on developments since COP26 last year and what needs to be delivered at COP27. This panel focussed on the need for increased ambition to meet shared climate goals, including urgent action to protect nature and halt biodiversity loss. Minister Guilbeault highlighted progress on the protection of 30 percent of lands and waters in Canada by 2030, while pushing others to follow suit. Canada also supports the High Ambition Coalition on Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction to advance the protection of marine biodiversity.
The Minister was also invited by the UN Secretary-General’s Office to attend the Leaders Level climate event. The outcome chairs’ summary shows that countries underscore the value of Canada and Germany’s work on the $100-billion climate finance report, and the imperative for its credible delivery.