Canada's Priorities at COP 20

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A Fair, Comprehensive, International Climate Agreement

Canada is committed to achieving a new international climate change agreement in 2015 that includes meaningful and transparent commitments from all major emitters.

Negotiations in Lima present an opportunity to make further progress on developing the key elements of the new agreement. Canada supports the Durban Platform, which acknowledges that the new agreement must:

  • apply to all;
  • ensure that commitments under a post-2020 regime reflect current global realities; and
  • be represented in a way that captures the full range of countries’ capabilities and responsibilities, now and in the future.

Nationally Determined Contributions

An important step in developing the 2015 agreement will be the submission of nationally determined contributions in 2015, as agreed at COP 19 in Warsaw in 2013. Canada supports this process and believes that all Parties need to be included. Contributions should focus on efforts to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Canada recognizes that countries need to continue to grow their economies in order to achieve sustainable development while reducing emissions well into the future.

Climate Financing

Canada is proud to have committed $300 million to the Green Climate Fund to support developing countries in addressing climate change, and remains committed to the joint goal to mobilize, by 2020, US$100 billion per year in climate financing from public and private sources.

Canada’s Green Climate Fund contribution builds on Canada’s previous investment under the Fast-Start Financing initiative. Developed countries delivered more than $30 billion to developing countries to meet the Copenhagen fast-start financing commitment. The Government of Canada fully delivered on its investment of $1.2 billion to support a range of projects focused on climate change adaptation and increasing renewable energy in more than 60 developing countries. Projects are currently under way and are delivering positive results such as reductions in GHG emissions and increased capacity to adapt to a changing climate. For more information, visit Canada’s Climate Financing Web page.

Moving Forward

The Government of Canada has already taken action to reduce GHG emissions from two of Canada’s largest sources of emissions: transportation and electricity.

In 2012, Canada became the first major coal user to ban the construction of traditional coal-fired electricity generation with the introduction of new regulations for the electricity sector. In the first 21 years, these regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction in GHG emissions of about 214 megatonnes, equivalent to removing some 2.6 million personal vehicles from the road per year over this period.

As a result of Canada’s regulations on cars and light trucks, 2025 model-year vehicles will emit about half as many GHGs as 2008 models, leading to significant savings at the pump while reducing emissions. In fact, these regulations are projected to deliver a total GHG reduction of 174 megatonnes, which is roughly equivalent to one year of emissions from Canada’s entire transportation sector.

Canada is also moving to address other major sources of emissions. Earlier this year, the government announced:

  • Its intention to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are among the most potent and fastest-growing GHGs in the world;
  • Actions to further regulate heavy-duty vehicles, which are projected to reduce emissions by up to 23%;
  • Proposed fuel standards, which would reduce sulphur content in gasoline by 70% beginning in 2017; and
  • Canada’s first-ever mandatory national emission standards for major industries. These standards place requirements on industrial boilers and heaters, stationary engines, such as those used for gas compression or back-up generators, and the cement manufacturing sector, and are expected to see a reduction in GHGs as well as improved air quality.

While GHG emissions in Canada rose significantly in the decade prior to 2006, they have since gone down thanks to the leadership of the federal government and real actions taken by consumers, businesses and governments across the country. This has occurred during a time of economic growth.

In Canada, climate change is a shared responsibility that requires concrete action from all levels of government. Canada looks forward to continued cooperation with provincial and territorial governments on reducing the country’s overall GHG emissions.

Canada will continue to build on an action-driven agenda to enhance mitigation measures and share experience in key complementary initiatives under the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, the Arctic Council, the Montreal Protocol, and the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate. Additionally, Canada, with the United States and Mexico, is leading international efforts to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, which are among the most potent and fastest-growing GHGs.

Under its Chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Canada is advancing the development of a final document for enhanced action on black carbon and methane that will lead to concrete results for both the environment and human health.

Canada looks forward to working with our international partners to make concrete progress on establishing a fair and effective new international climate agreement.

Climate Change Adaptation

In 2011, the Government of Canada renewed domestic climate change adaptation funding with a $148.8 million investment over five years to support a suite of programs aimed at helping Canadians adapt to changes in climate.

Domestic climate change adaptation funding allows the Government of Canada to continue providing credible, scientifically sound climate information to support adaptation planning and decision making.

Internationally, the Cancun Adaptation Framework, established in 2010, remains a key mechanism to enable further, in-depth and dedicated work on adaptation issues in developing countries.

Enhancing Mitigation Ambition

The Conference of the Parties has launched a work plan with a view to ensuring the highest possible mitigation efforts by all Parties before the year 2020.

Canada has been an active participant in the technical meetings to facilitate sharing information and best practices regarding policies and technologies that lead to concrete mitigation results that can be replicated by others.

For example, Canada has showcased leadership and expertise in terms of technology, regulation and governance in the area of carbon capture and storage. Canada will continue to play an active role in this work.