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COP22: Canada’s accomplishments on the international stage


Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna and the Canadian delegation took part in COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco. This montage shows their week in review.

Canada had a busy time in Marrakech for COP22 ... demonstrating our strong support for international action on clean growth and climate change.

Minister McKenna hosted a panel on Canadian Indigenous Leadership on Climate Change...

Engaged with Canadian businesses on the role of carbon markets...

And held a Facebook Live with young Canadian women leaders on climate change.

We also submitted our Mid-Century Strategy...
to start a conversation on the ways we can reduce emissions for a cleaner, more sustainable future by 2050...

And gave a voice to Indigenous youth to address world leaders.
Minister McKenna announced several investments in support of climate efforts and clean-technology deployment in developing countries, as part of our $2.65 billion commitment.

“The global economy has shifted towards cleaner, more sustainable growth, and the momentum is irreversible. Working together, we are setting ourselves on a sustainable and prosperous path for the future.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Facebook Live Chat with Minister McKenna and Canadian Youth Delegates at COP22


THE HONOURABLE CATHERINE MCKENNA (Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada): I'm Catherine McKenna. I'm Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, and I am super psyched to be doing my first Facebook live. And, you know what? It's a great day. It's gender day here at COP 22, and I have three awesome Canadian women.
So, why don't you guys tell me about yourselves.
DOMINIQUE SOURIS (YOUNGO): Sure. Hello everyone. Good to be here. So my name is Dominique and I'm from Ottawa and here at COP 22 representing the Sierra Youth Coalition, and I'm on the coordinating team for the Seychelles delegation.
MAATALII OKALIK (President of the National Inuit Youth Council): Thank you for having me. I am Maatalii Aniluk Okalik and I am the elected president of the National Inuit Youth Council within Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami and I'm bringing forward the priorities of Inuit youth here at COP 21 (sic).
MEREDITH ADLER (Executive Director, Student Energy); Hi. I'm Meredith Adler and I am from Student Energy. We are an observer organization and we are here at COP 21 (sic) and I'm here from Vancouver.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: All right, that's great. So let's have a conversation. So, why don't you tell me... Dominique, about your experience at COP 22 and how youth are engaged?
SOURIS: Sure. So I'll start with talking a little bit about my experiences here. This is my third COP and I've been to a variety of different UNFCCC technical meetings. So I'm here...
SOURIS: Basically.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So I'll just be clear about that.
SOURIS: This is my, you know, my favourite event of the year basically. And, so I'm part of what we call YOUNGO, which is the youth contingency of the UN Triple C (UNFCCC), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is like a loose umbrella of all the youth, individuals and organizations that operate or work within the COP and outside throughout the world. So I'm here sort of working and advising the loss and damage working group and at the same time, I'm wearing sort of a more technical hat working with... on the negotiating team of a small island state, the Seychelles. I'm coordinating their support team. There's a lot of different students and researchers that help provide capacity to different developing countries and, so, just here working on providing that technical capacity and trying to link the youth who are organizing actions, who are... they're representing the universities, or their organizations, or organizing side events, so trying to make that technical link is something that I'm very interested in because these are very technical negotiations.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So, you know what, that's really cool.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So not only are you like a super negotiator, like you're reaching out, but you are reaching out and also getting youth engaged. Because that's really important because I hear about the negotiations, I've been part of them. They can be super, you know, technical and boring and making sure that we actually get other voices is really, really important.
So, Maatalii. You are from Nunavut. Tell me about your experiences there, because you're really at the forefront of climate change. And how are youth... How are youth involved in telling the world, but also helping to address climate change?
OKALIK: Well, as you are aware, there are 60,000 Inuit in Canada, and youth form the majority of the population with our median population age being 23 years old. And so Inuit youth have a vested interest in continuing to be climate agents and addressing climate change, because we have been doing it for decades.
We have been also identifying, as Inuit, that climate change is an issue and we are constantly bringing forward our indigenous knowledge and interested in continuing to celebrate the indigenous rights that we have, implicated by climate change in terms of us living in our homeland safely and the way which reflects us as an indigenous people of Canada. And so Inuit youth continue to become engaged in the conversation as they are raising their families the Inuit way. They are continuing to find innovative ways in which... that we can continually adapt to the changing environment.
We are avid hunters and feeding our families with the incredible wildlife that we have within our homeland that we have enjoyed eating for thousands of years, and we really want to be able to continue to live that way of life. And so here at COP 22 it's been great, not only at this COP but at previous ones, to be able to liaise with the global indigenous caucus, but also see Canada playing a leadership role in championing indigenous rights in that regard.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Yeah. And it's been really good, it's been great working with you, also with other indigenous Inuit leaders as well, because I think it's a real priority in Canada that we make sure that we recognize that indigenous peoples are on the front lines but they also have solutions and we need to protect their way of life but we need to be doing it together.
All right, so, tell me like what's going on here. Like what youth just generally... How are you engaging young people in the climate discussions?
MEREDITH ADLER (Student Energy): Yeah. So Student Energy is a global not-for-profit that's working on creating the next generation of energy leaders. And so we're really interested in what youth solutions are to climate and energy problems. And so here at COP we are really working on creating space for youth to have those conversations, and we are working on how youth innovations can work to accelerate climate action. And a lot of that is through inter-generational cooperation, so working with the business community here and other activist communities here and seeing how youth can really propel this conversation rather than kind of just be a little bit more sidelined than it has in the past.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So I think of it as. So I'm... You know, now it's one year I've been a Minister, but I'm trying to shake things up...
I know, I can't believe it. But I'm trying to shake things up here. So how do we make sure that we do more, that we engage youth more, but in a real way. Like you guys are super engaged but what about Canadian youth who are maybe watching this on Facebook live, or youth from around the world. How can we make sure that they can actually play a part? Because if it does seem kind of like an insider thing, and I feel that and I'm an insider. So...
ADLER: So I think a big piece of it is actually acknowledging that there are kind of rules to the game. It's a big built-up piece and we need to work with youth to create resources so that they can step up and be kind of toe-to-toe with people who have been here for a long time.
SOURIS: It's also about recognising that youth are the diverse actors. So, yes, we are young people but we are academics, we are activists, we are policy nerds like myself. So it's really about creating enough spaces for... you know, bridges to be built within the youth community and creating those for meaningful involvement. So, I mean, it's great to consult with youth and, you know it's a great opportunity for us, but how can we work together on a more level playing field? And it's about creating those spaces to do that.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: I think that that point though that you make about youth... it's not all... Not all youth are the same.
SOURIS: Right.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: You know, I think, you know, when you're older - like I'm older - like, oh, let's just get the youth. Like get the youth engaged. But it's kind of like saying let's get the women engaged. Women have very different views. So I'm pretty sure Maatalli, you feel that probably, that, you know, you have your own unique perspective?
OKALIK: Absolutely. And for Inuit youth in particular there is... we... our priority areas are diverse. We are championing Inuit language, Inuit culture and practices which are reflective of how we have lived and survived off of the land for thousands of years. Suicide prevention. Education and empowerment. And this is where I see it very beneficial for Inuit youth to participate in climate action, and so more information that we're sharing with them on process, on policy, the more that they can participate and ensure that the process is also reflective of them. And so in Canada it's important that we are coming together on common understanding and creating that space first for understanding, thereafter for mutual action. And the last priority that we do have as a council is reconciliation. And reconciliation is not just on relationships it also is impacted by climate change entrenched in the other priority areas that we have.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: I mean I don't think we can actually do reconciliation less we actually take serious action to tackle climate change because that totally changes your life. Okay, but you're also young women.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So let's talk about being a young woman. I'm actually kind of excited. There are ... there are actually... well there's a plane actually going over us but... there are a lot of... there are a lot more women here than you would expect. I found on the negotiating side that the women have really played a leadership role. There are a lot of ministers that are women, but.... So what does it mean to be a woman at COP or just in the climate discussion? Is it a good thing or is it just, you know, it's just, you know, nothing, it's cool, there's lots of women and we don't need to think about it.
ADLER: I think it's a really interesting question. So coming from the energy states, like the panels that you often see are often referred to as manels, and so...
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: I'm on a manel. I'm often, like... I don't know, women on the manel?
ADLER: I'm often the young woman on the manel (inaudible-crosstalk). But... So it's actually really cool to come to COP and see so many powerful women taking such big leadership roles, seeing gender day being a thing, and it's something that I'd like to see happen more and more because I mean at Student Energy we're all over the world, but we have this diverse rainbow of people who are interested in climate and so many women, so many young women who are growing up in the movement. It's so important for them to see themselves reflected in places of power.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: So we should have "womels."
UNIDENTIFIED: Yes, exactly.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Is that a panel for women? Mamels?
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Wamels? Okay that's just wierd.
That would be a good... that would be a thing. But I think this is... I was on a panel actually and we had a discussion about a project that was going forward and it was about ensuring that we empowered women that are coming up with innovations that... in the clean tech space. So they are all women who have ideas but actually getting financing is really hard. So there is actually, you know, a gender impact often not just on mamel, wamels, mamels, but just in general in finding solutions.
SOURIS: Yeah, definitely. I think it's also about, you know, it's recognizing the different perspectives in different circumstances that perhaps women have that are different than men, you know, in the panels, but in the energy space, similar in the climate negotiations you know there's different priorities depending on the different social contexts that we need to consider.
HON. CATHERINE MCKENNA: Yeah. It is pretty awesome. So the good news is we have strong women that are here. And more womels and it ...
That's awesome. Alright.

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