Canada spearheads global action to reduce plastic pollution at COP25

News release

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson standing with the newest endorsees of the Ocean Plastics Charter. Left to right, Ernesto Hartikainen, Sitra; Ms. Terhi Lehtonen, Finnish State Secretary; Jeanne D’Arc Mujawamariya, Minister of Environment, Rwanda; Minister Wilkinson; and assistant to Minister of Environment from Rwanda – no name available, during the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, also referred to as COP25.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson with the newest endorsees of the Ocean Plastics Charter.

December 11, 2019 – Madrid, Spain

Plastic pollution is choking our oceans, lakes, and rivers. It is a global problem that requires global action. At the June 2018 G7 Summit, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European Union adopted the Ocean Plastics Charter to demonstrate their commitment to take concrete and ambitious action to address plastic pollution.

Since then, the Charter has grown substantively to bring together leading governments, businesses, and civil society organizations. Together, this group is committed to taking action to move toward a more resource-efficient and sustainable approach to the management of plastics.

Today at COP25, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, welcomed Chile; Rwanda; Finland; and The Finnish Innovation Fund, Sitra, as the newest endorsees of the Ocean Plastics Charter.

The Charter has now been endorsed by 25 governments and over 60 businesses and organizations.

This announcement was made at COP25, following a series of ministerial meetings focused on ocean plastics reduction and climate action.

Minister Wilkinson participated in the High-Level Ministerial Dialogue on Ocean Climate Action to build momentum behind actions that will better integrate oceans into international climate action and help countries meet their Paris Agreement commitments. Further, Minister Wilkinson will host a meeting tomorrow with his counterparts from the Small Island Developing States to discuss how international collaboration can help vulnerable countries adapt to the effects of climate change.


“Globally, about eight million tonnes of plastic pollution enter the oceans each year. This amount is equivalent to dumping one garbage-truckload of plastic into the ocean every minute. Canada is among the leaders creating a global movement toward reducing plastic pollution through our leadership on the Ocean Plastics Charter, our investments at home, our help to developing countries in tackling this problem, and our efforts to advance international oceans science. We welcome Chile’s focus on ocean conservation and resilience, at COP25, and we are delighted that they, as well as the other endorsees, have joined the Charter. Global collaboration is key to ensuring ocean health and biodiversity are preserved.”
– The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

“As a leader in oceans science, Canada is pleased to be collaborating with the international community on ocean science research and innovation. We are committed to protecting our oceans and coastal communities from changes to our climate. This important work will inform how we keep our oceans healthy and our coastal communities safe and how we manage our marine resources sustainably.”
– The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has been working with provinces and territories to implement the Canada-wide Strategy on Zero Plastic Waste and has invested $124 million to protect and conserve almost 14 percent of Canada’s marine waters.

  • Canada has committed $2.65 billion by 2020–2021 to help developing countries, particularly the poorest and most vulnerable, build climate resilience and transition to low-carbon, sustainable economies. That amount includes a $60 million contribution toward the establishment of the Renewable Energy in Small Island Developing States Program at the World Bank, which supports the planning and construction of renewable energy, infrastructure, energy efficiency, and battery storage solutions.

  • Canada is also taking concrete action on ocean plastics with a $262 million investment—to support resilience, apply nature-based solutions, and address marine pollution—and over $10 million to advance international oceans science.

Associated links


Sabrina Kim
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Twitter page

Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Facebook page

Page details

Date modified: