G7 environment meetings in Halifax focus on climate action, and the $26 trillion opportunity of clean growth and tackling air pollution

News release

September 19, 2018 – Halifax, Nova Scotia

Countries around the world are seeing the costs of climate change first hand – from dangerous wildfires and invasive species to extreme weather events like flooding, droughts and record-breaking heat waves. The increasing toll of climate change at home and around the world, and the need for ambitious international action is why Canada identified climate action, oceans and clean energy as one of its priority themes for its G7 presidency in 2018. It is also why we announced commitments to climate change and sustainable finance.

As part of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans, and Clean Energy, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, hosted counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union along with representatives from Jamaica, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Norway, Seychelles and Vietnam in Halifax today to discuss accelerating global action to fight climate change and drive clean growth. The international representatives discussed the Paris Agreement on climate change and the importance of landing a clear set of rules, which will enhance transparency and accountability for implementing the Agreement before the end of the year, which will help unleash private sector investment and create new jobs in clean growth.

Lord Nicholas Stern, on behalf of the New Climate Economy, provided a brief from the G7 Sustainable Finance Roundtable held yesterday. He emphasized that clean growth could add at least $26 trillion to the global economy and 65 million jobs worldwide by 2030. The G7 discussion highlighted the importance of ensuring the right market conditions to turn the billions to trillions of investment for clean growth.

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank, Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Royal DSM, and Paul Polman, CEO of multinational company Unilever, spoke to the G7 ministers about the need for countries to adopt practical national policies, including putting a price on pollution and disclosing financial risk to climate change, which will help move from billions to trillions of dollars invested in clean growth.

Climate change is already imposing a high price on people and communities around the world. To address this, G7 representatives discussed the importance of further supporting vulnerable countries and populations in adapting to the impacts and increased risks of climate change, including through innovative financing.

As climate change has disproportionate impacts on women, the G7 Environment Ministers also addressed gender equality and climate action. Isabelle Hudon, Canada’s Ambassador to France and the co-Chair of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 presidency, was invited to speak on the importance of bringing women’s leadership to climate solutions and working to support women in vulnerable situations and women entrepreneurs as they manage the impacts of climate change, including the voices of grassroots and Indigenous women. Ministers discussed the importance of bringing women’s leadership to climate action solutions and working to support women in vulnerable situations and women entrepreneurs as they manage the impacts of climate change, including the voices of grassroots and Indigenous women. Minister McKenna also shared perspectives that emerged from a summit she hosted with women climate leaders in Quebec earlier this year focused on increasing ambition on climate action.

To further advance efforts towards cleaner growth, Ministers also discussed the economic opportunity and environmental benefits of a circular economy, hearing from Walmart and BASF Canada. Finding ways to better reuse, recycle and reduce plastic pollution will not only keep plastics out of our oceans and waters, but will ensure its economic value remains in the economy. Conserving nature and nature-based climate mitigation and adaptation solutions, and achieve climate and health benefits by working together on air quality, also featured prominently in discussions. Further highlights of today’s meeting are captured in the Chair’s Summary.

Minister McKenna took the opportunity to make the following important announcements that support Canada’s G7 commitments related to climate change:

  • On behalf of Canada, Minister McKenna announced new funds to help vulnerable countries. The funds include $2 million for the National Adaptation Plan Global Network, managed by the International Institute for Sustainable Development, which will help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change.
  • Minister McKenna also reiterated Canada’s $100 million commitment to support expansion of climate risk insurance coverage in Caribbean countries - to provide a safety net for hospitals, businesses and households in vulnerable small-island states.
  • Minister McKenna also committed $2 million to establish a new initiative that will empower women entrepreneurs working on climate solutions in the developing world.
  • On behalf of Canada, Minister McKenna highlighted support for the work and objectives of the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosure.

The joint G7 ministerial meeting in Halifax is now set to turn to other environmental priorities, including fostering healthy oceans, reducing plastic pollution, building resilient communities and investing in clean energy.


Quotes

“Canada, along with its partners, understand that fighting climate change presents the economic opportunity of the century worth $26 trillion and 65 million jobs worldwide by 2030.. Landing the rules for the Paris Agreement at the climate negotiations at COP24 is critical to unleashing this opportunity. G7 countries are committed to working together to taking climate action to take advantage of the opportunity and to ensure a more sustainable future for our kids and grandkids.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The G7 Leaders' Summit was held from June 8-9 in Charlevoix, Quebec, Canada. The G7 is an informal grouping of seven of the world's advanced economies consisting of Canada, France, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy, as well as the European Union. Canada holds the G7 Presidency until December 31, 2018.

  • The G7 Ministerial Meeting on Working together on climate change, oceans and clean energy, taking place from September 19 to 21, 2018, is the fourth Ministerial Meeting under Canada's G7 presidency.

  • Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada hosted the Climate Leaders’ Summit, Women Kicking it on Climate, on May 16-17, 2018, in Canada’s National Capital Region. Canada is working to advance gender issues and women’s leadership worldwide.

  • Countries are working to reach agreement on a detailed set of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement at the UN climate negotiations in Poland this December.

  • Countries are working to reach agreement on a detailed set of rules for the implementation of the Paris Agreement at the UN climate negotiations in Poland this December.

Associated links

Contacts

Caroline Thériault
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
613-462-5473
caroline.theriault2@canada.ca     

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Natural Resources in Canada’s Facebook page


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