Minister Jonathan Wilkinson Issues Statement on the 54th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC-54)
August 9, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario
“I would like to thank the delegation that took part in the 54th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change from July 26 to August 6. The policy analysts, scientists, and senior executives from Environment and Climate Change, Fisheries and Oceans and Natural Resources Canada, as well as representatives of three national Indigenous organizations, represented our country at IPCC-54, where 195 nations participated. Their contributions helped craft the Summary for Policymakers of the section in the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report entitled Physical Science Basis of Climate Change.
“The wide-ranging IPCC report has unquestionable international implications. But it also matters here at home. Canada is warming at nearly twice the global rate. Parts of western and northern Canada are warming at three times the global average. Scientists have made a clear link between climate change and more frequent and powerful weather events, including heat waves, wildfires, flooding and sea ice loss.
“I have no doubt the IPCC report’s findings will influence the negotiations at the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties—COP26—in November. The report makes clear that we find ourselves at a critical time for international climate action. The science shows it is vital that countries do more to address climate change, maintaining their pursuit of the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, and doing so on a faster timeline.
“Since 2015, Canada has taken aggressive climate action to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. The Government of Canada is committed to continuously increasing its ambition over time, following the best available science to provide a healthy environment and a healthy economy for the next generations.
“Canada has joined more than 120 countries—including all G7 countries—to commit to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The recently passed Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act turns Canada’s net-zero goal into law. Reaching net-zero emissions is what the IPCC report reiterates the world must achieve if we are to keep 1.5C within reach.
“In April 2021, Canada announced its enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) target under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, on the path to net zero. Canada also announced its next phase of climate finance investments to help developing nations, doubling its previous contribution to $5.3 billion over the next five years.
“The fight against climate change isn’t only about reducing emissions to prevent increased global warming and seizing the economic opportunities that climate action presents. It also requires adapting to ongoing changes we cannot prevent. To that end, the Government of Canada continues to invest in the health and safety of Canadians and their communities from coast to coast to coast.
“Full implementation of the Government’s climate plan and achievement of Canada’s updated NDC are required to reduce emissions in line with what science says is needed and to ensure the country is well positioned to take advantage of significant economic opportunities linked to a flourishing, low-carbon global economy.
“The Government will continue to work with Canadians to drive down emissions, take the actions needed to prevent harm from climate change, and create economic prosperity in all regions of the country.”
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
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