Canada–France Climate and Environment Partnership – 2021–2022
France and Canada share a common commitment to saving the planet and ensuring a prosperous future for current and future generations. Together, we recognize the environmental emergency. We will combat the climate crisis and the collapse of biodiversity by intensifying climate action and through our co-operation for a healthy and prosperous future.
We support the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to well below 2°C, and pursuing all possible efforts to limit the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C. France and Canada will meet the commitments made under the Paris Agreement. We will submit, by COP26, an enhanced nationally determined contribution based on the best available science and consistent with long-term strategies for climate neutrality. France and Canada will encourage their partners to implement these commitments and adopt climate neutrality targets by 2050, including their partners in the G7 and G20. France and Canada will also encourage sub-national and non-state players to adopt ambitious, science-based climate targets. We will continue our collaboration under CREWS (Climate Risk and Early Warning Systems) in order to come to the assistance of the most vulnerable populations of the least advanced countries and of small island developing states, in the face of the extreme effects of climate change.
Deeply concerned by the alarming rate of biodiversity loss, France and Canada reaffirm their determination to work together to address all the drivers of this trend, including those identified by the Intergovernmental Sciences Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in its 2019 Global Report. We reiterate our goal endorsed in the “Leaders’ Pledge for Nature” to halt the loss of biodiversity and put nature on a path to recovery by 2030. To achieve this goal, Canada and France will continue to strengthen their joint advocacy for the adoption of an ambitious and operational new global biodiversity policy framework at COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity. In particular, we will work for the establishment of quantified and measurable targets, an effective implementation process and a credible accountability mechanism. In particular, we will support the adoption of a target to protect at least 30% of the world’s lands and seas by 2030, through our joint engagement in the High Ambition Coalition for Nature and People.
Recognizing that there are solutions to both the climate and biodiversity crises, including nature-based solutions, Canada and France will continue to support increased convergence between climate and biodiversity funding. For example, in line with the G7 Environment and Climate Change Ministers’ agreement, we will strengthen our support for the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance to help increase private sector investment in nature-based solutions. Canada and France will work toward strengthening international efforts to combat environmental crime. This co-operation will take the form of concerted work and joint advocacy with the relevant fora, including the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, the United Nations General Assembly and the IUCN World Congress.
The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the interconnectedness between people and their dependence on the environment. France and Canada are committed to strengthening the consideration of climate and biodiversity issues in post-COVID economic measures and to implementing a sustainable, resilient and inclusive recovery. In particular, collaboration will be strengthened in the following fora and initiatives: the 5th UN Environment Assembly, the group of countries for bank alignment with the Paris Agreement, the Environment and Development Cooperation Network (ENVIRONET), the Clean Energy Ministerial Group (CEM), Mission Innovation (MI), the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Institut de la Francophonie pour le Développement Durable (IFDD), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature.
Reiterating their commitment to sustainable and resilient development, France and Canada also affirm their commitment to equality between women and men and to the empowerment of women as key players in the fight against climate change. Aware that women and girls play an essential role in the ecological transition and that they remain particularly vulnerable to the harmful effects of climate change, France and Canada will intensify their efforts to include equality between women and men in their climate actions. In international fora, France and Canada will continue to advocate for equality between men and women and for the greater participation of women in climate actions and decision-making.
France and Canada will develop their co-operation through the following initiatives.
Gender and sustainable development
Canada and France will consider organizing an expert workshop on gender and climate change to explore climate and gender impacts in conjunction with the scientific community and in collaboration with governments. This workshop could potentially be sponsored by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
France and Canada will continue to work together on the Equal by 30 framework, a global campaign to advance gender equality in clean energy, mainly through the recent adoption of new and strengthened commitments agreed to by all G7 members at the G7 Climate and Environment Ministers’ Conference in May 2021.
To complement and build on their respective ministerial participation in the International Energy Agency’s Global Commission on People-Centred Clean Energy Transitions, Canada and France could explore opportunities to collaborate through bodies such as the Clean Energy Ministerial Group and IRENA to further analysis, research and policy recommendations on the socio-economic elements of clean energy transitions.
In addition, Canada and France, building on the success of previous editions, are committed to studying the possibility of producing a new capacity-building workshop for women climate and biodiversity negotiators, in collaboration with relevant partners including the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Women, the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie and/or the Women’s Environment and Development Organization. This workshop is also part of Canada and France’s commitment to support the implementation of the UNFCCC Gender Plan of Action adopted at COP25.
Powering Past Coal Alliance
Coal is the most carbon-intensive fossil fuel. It accounts for 20% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. For this reason, decarbonizing the energy production sector, and primarily coal-fired power generation, is one of the most important steps to mitigate climate change and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
Canada and France reaffirm their support for the Powering Past Coal Alliance and will work to speed up the elimination of coal not only by governments, but also by non-governmental organizations and specifically the private financial sector. France and Canada are determined to promote the realization of these commitments by 2030 at the latest for Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and by 2050 for the rest of the world.
France and Canada will share their experience in public policy and the divestment of and fair transition from coal. France and Canada will make diplomatic representations to OECD countries that still fund coal, as well as to developing and emerging countries to encourage them to accelerate their transition.
France and Canada will encourage greater ambition on the part of development institutions and the private sector to accelerate the exclusion of coal from their activities. France and Canada will promote the health, economic and financial benefits of redirecting investments from coal to low GHG-emitting energy sources.
Ocean Plastics Charter and other initiatives on marine litter
France and Canada are seriously concerned about plastic waste, including microplastics in the marine environment, which constitutes an existential threat to marine ecosystems as a whole, with adverse consequences for human health, economies and social balances. Plastic accounts for the largest portion of marine litter. Of this waste, 80% originates from land and, of the 9.2 billion tons of plastic produced since 1950, 7 billion tons of plastic waste has been generated. France and Canada also recognize that, of the 400 million tons of plastic produced each year, 10 million tons of plastic and microplastic waste continues to be dumped into the oceans each year, and the COVID-19 crisis is causing an increase in this plastic waste as a result of the greater use of single-use plastics.
France and Canada reiterate their commitment made by signing the Ocean Plastics Charter—a result of the 2018 Canadian G7 presidency. The Parties to the Ocean Plastics Charter agree to adopt a more effective approach to resource use and the life cycle of plastics on land and at sea. France and Canada will continue to promote the Charter by encouraging all G7 countries, as well as countries outside the G7, to endorse it. France and Canada will work together to identify opportunities to support and enhance the Plastics Charter and other multilateral initiatives dedicated to the fight against plastic pollution in order to give public, private and civil society partners the opportunity to showcase their efforts to fight plastic pollution, share best practices and engage in the various multilateral instruments. In addition, France and Canada support the creation of an intergovernmental committee through the United Nations Environment Assembly to begin negotiating a global agreement on plastics.
Post-COVID green recovery through the development of trade, investment and industrial co‑operation in the energy and transportation sectors
Canada and France share a desire for a sustainable recovery of their national economies through their post-COVID recovery plans. They are planning public investment in favour of the development of sustainable expertise and technology in key sectors for future generations, including clean energy and transportation. Research and industrial co-operation as well as mutual investment in these areas will be encouraged, particularly in the electrification of road networks, the reduction of the environmental impact of transportation, the production of low-carbon hydrogen, and sustainable and responsible battery production.
Through the NICE Future initiative and other relevant international fora, such as the International Energy Association (IEA) and the International Atomic Energy Agency, Canada and France are jointly defending the positive contribution of nuclear energy to (i) the fight against climate change as a complement to renewable energy, (ii) the provision of reliable and economically competitive energy contributing to a secure supply and (iii) the production of low-carbon hydrogen.
France and Canada will initiate a bilateral dialogue on batteries, low-carbon hydrogen and fuel cells to encourage low-carbon storage and accompany the rollout of sustainable mobility. Specific seminars could be organized, with the participation of French and Canadian institutional actors, experts and businesses. At these events, specific technical topics could be addressed, such as the development of sustainable and responsible battery value chains, the production of low-carbon hydrogen, and the manufacturing of synthetic fuel from low-carbon hydrogen for aircraft and the merchant fleet. Trade missions organized in conjunction with international events in France and Canada will also be opportunities to support and strengthen the collaboration of French and Canadian economic actors in these sectors.
Decarbonizing the real property sector
The world building inventory is expected to double in area by 2060. France and Canada recognize the importance of transitioning to a zero-emission, energy-efficient global real property and building sector that is resilient to climate change by 2050 in order to achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement.
France and Canada are committed to furthering their discussion on building energy efficiency, and to working together to seek the commitment of other countries in favour of national strategies to decarbonize the real property sector (including better adapting the sector to climate change), particularly through the Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction and the IEA’s Energy Efficiency Hub, the successor to the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Co‑operation.
Biarritz Pledge for Fast Action on Efficient Cooling
Recognizing that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol could reduce global warming by 0.4°C by the end of the century, and conscious of the cost of using inefficient cooling equipment and the importance of good maintenance practices to keep cooling equipment energy efficient, France and Canada reaffirm their commitment to the transition to more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly cooling solutions in line with the Kigali Agreement to the Montreal Protocol, in accordance with the pledge made at the G7 Summit in Biarritz in August 2019 and the effective cooling initiative launched during the 2019 G7 Environment Summit, under the aegis of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.
Through this coalition, France and Canada will continue to support an action plan to promote the Kigali Amendment on the gradual reduction of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and better energy efficiency globally. France and Canada will also ensure effective coordination between the various HFC and energy efficiency initiatives under way in the cooling sector so as not to duplicate efforts.
Canada and France recognize the crucial role played by carbon pricing in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective manner. France and Canada will share their respective experiences with carbon pricing, thereby continuing the previous edition of the Partnership. This bilateral exchange could include a review of the experience with carbon pricing at different levels of government, the means to improve the public acceptability of this instrument and the tools to prevent the risk of carbon leakage without undermining the climate objective of carbon pricing and its effectiveness.
Green and sustainable financing
France and Canada are members of the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action and the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition. Canada and France will work together to achieve green and sustainable financing through the following actions:
- France and Canada will support the initiative launched at the One Planet Summit on January 11, 2021, which sought a convergence of climate and biodiversity financing. France and Canada will ensure that an ambitious share of climate financing is also providing co-benefits for biodiversity.
- Canada and France will continue technical exchanges intended to share information upstream of discussions on green and sustainable financing in international fora, particularly the G7 and G20. Moreover, France and Canada enthusiastically welcome the reinstatement of the G20 Sustainable Finance Study Group in 2021 and its transformation into a Working Group.
- France and Canada reaffirm the central role of the Green Climate Fund, the financial instrument of the Paris Agreement, in the fight against climate change. France and Canada support the evolution of the Green Fund to improve its governance and its commitment capability.
- France and Canada could work with other Global Environment Facility donors to ensure the successful launch of the eighth replenishment of the GEF (GEF-8), encourage the implementation of the strategy to engage the private sector (adopted in December 2020) and promote the efficient governance of projects financed by the GEF.
- More generally, Canada and France will be able to continue working together to seek ambitious commitments from multilateral development banks from now until COP26 on the alignment of all of their operations with the Paris Agreement. More specifically, it will be important to ensure greater mobilization of climate finance, particularly in the area of adaptation; the gradual exclusion of fossil fuel financing, starting with coal; and the promotion of synergies between climate and biodiversity through the search for co-benefits in climate projects.
- Canada and France will continue to support the work of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) by encouraging the full adoption of the ensuing recommendations with the goal of promoting informed financial decisions with respect to climate change risks and opportunities and encouraging greater consideration of these issues in business strategies and management. France and Canada support the initiative to put in place an equivalent for biodiversity: the Task Force on Nature-Related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), which was launched in spring 2021.
- In addition to Canadian and French supports to TCFD and TNFD, it will be essential to go further and collaborate in international fora toward a convergence of extra‑financial standards. These standards should increase the comparability and relevance of extra-financial information, and provide financial markets with data that allow for private investments and financing to be aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement.
- Canada and France will continue to work together through the International Platform on Sustainable Finance of the European Commission to identify key principles that should underpin the development of a green taxonomy and ensure the interoperability of international taxonomies.
- France and Canada will endeavour to mobilize all actors around the climate and biodiversity risks and impacts in connection with their own policy planning, through a technical exchange of ideas on the transparency tools applicable to the governments themselves, in order to set an example.
Sustainable forest management
Canada and France support the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests. The Alliance was created due to the lack of synergies between regional groups dedicated to forests, the limited debates of experts, and the fact that there is currently no binding international agreement on forests. The Alliance is a forum for discussion, exchange and high-level political impetus between major forest‑rich nations and donor countries as well as civil society. It is an essential condition for the consideration of tropical forests in international deadlines and critical to meeting these deadlines and fulfilling Canada and France’s ambitions on environmental issues.
The 2020–2021 cycle will see a number of key international conferences, including COP15 of the CBD, the 50th anniversary of the Ramsar Convention, UNFCCC COP26, the World Conservation Congress and the Food Systems Summit.
Given the critical importance of the forest issue at all these events, France and Canada pledge strong political ambition at the highest level with respect to forests, in particular tropical forests, to ensure that they are taken into account in the fight against climate change and the protection of biodiversity.
Under the Alliance, France and Canada will collaborate on the following files:
- Encouraging other countries and international and non‑state organizations to join the Alliance;
- Better political coordination between “consuming” countries and “producing” countries on sustainable supply chains;
- Improving the international response in preventing and combatting forest fires in tropical rainforest areas, and improving actions to restore ecosystems affected by this phenomenon;
- Greater synergies in the allocation of our funding and our projects in areas such as research and official development assistance for rainforests.
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