After Trump exit, McKenna repeats Canada’s commitment to Paris Climate agreement

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Catherine McKenna, Canadian environment and climate change minister.

Vancouver committed to cut emissions by 80% below 2007 levels, before 2050

President Donald Trump recently announced that the United States will be leaving the Paris Climate Accord, which former President Barack Obama had helped create. Canada will not be following the Americans, says Catherine Mckenna, minister of environment and climate change.

In fact, Mckenna said in a speech to Parliament that the Canadian government remains more committed than ever to its obligations under the agreement.

“As temperatures rise and the environmental crisis advances—inaction and indifference are no longer an option. It’s an opportunity to not only prevent the worst impacts of climate change, but to spark innovations in technology, strengthen our economy, and create good-paying jobs for Canadians, in the clean-growth century,” said Mckenna in a press release.

Mckenna claims a recent report from the International Energy Association found that the Paris Agreement would boost the global economy by $19 trillion over the next three decades as the world moves towards renewable energy, zero-emissions transportation, and increased energy efficiency.

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Paris Climate Agreement – global energy mix changing rapidly

McKenna pointed out some of the trends that underline the seismic shift in how the global economy generates and consumes energy:

  • In 2013—for the first time—the world added more low-carbon electricity capacity than fossil-fuel capacity.
  • Two years later, close to a third of US$1 trillion was invested globally in renewable power—almost double the amount invested in power from fossil fuels.
  • And today, nearly 10 million people around the world are employed in the renewable-energy sector—with more jobs being created every day.
  • In China, two wind turbines are erected every hour of every day. And in 2016, they added roughly enough solar panels to cover three soccer fields every hour.
  • Just last month—over the course of an hour—renewable energy supplied nearly all of Germany’s power demand for the first time.
  • And in the U.S., the solar and wind industries are creating jobs 12 times faster than the rest of the economy. In fact, the U.S. has twice as many solar jobs as coal jobs.

Paris Climate Agreement – business and industry on board with greenhouse gas reductions

Just recently, a group of 1100 companies—with a combined worth of over $3 trillion—reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris Agreement.

Earlier this year, 11 of Canada’s clean-tech companies were ranked within the top 100 in the world.

“With a $2.2 billion investment, we’re fostering clean-tech research and development, production, and export—and we’re accelerating the growth of this industry to capture an increasing share of the global market,” said Mckenna.

“Some have failed to see the enormous opportunity before us, while others simply don’t believe climate change exists, but the time for inaction is over.”

Paris Climate Agreement – climate change having significant impact on cities

Half the world’s population lives in cities, and they produce 70 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

“We’re investing $20.1 billion to support urban public transit—to help reduce commute times in our cities, increase the use of clean transportation, and allow people to spend more time with their families and less time in traffic.”

By 2020, Mckenna claims cities could be hit with $5 billion a year in costs from extreme weather events—and by 2050, that number will rise to a striking $43 billion a year.

Vancouver has committed to cut emissions by at least 80 per cent below 2007 levels, before 2050.

According to the release, the agreement is expected to:

  • limit the rise of global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius—and strive to keep it below 1.5 degrees
  • reduce carbon emissions through the actions taken by each individual country
  • protect vulnerable nations from the worst impacts of climate change
  • support clean economic growth by unlocking the potential of the market
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“As we meet here today to reaffirm Canada’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, let’s not forget this is also a commitment to our children and grandchildren,” concluded Mckenna in her speech to parliament.

Posted in: Canada

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