Canada concludes productive discussions with international partners in Belgium ahead of COP28
July 14, 2023 – Brussels, Belgium
Canada continues to play an active role on the international stage as nations work together to fight the triple crises of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. With an increase in extreme climate-related weather events worldwide, including Canada’s record spring forest fire season this year, the urgency of the situation calls for more ambition and international cooperation on climate action to keep the 1.5°C Paris Agreement warming limit within reach and avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change.
Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, concluded his participation in the seventh Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA) in Brussels, Belgium. Canada, along with His Excellency Huang Runqiu, Minister of Ecology and Environment of China, and Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal (European Commission), co-convened the two days of meetings with over 29 ministers and other high-level representatives, including the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, and 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) President-designate Dr. Sultan Al Jaber from the United Arab Emirates, to agree on priorities to increase international momentum in the lead‑up to COP28.
At MoCA, participating ministers shared expectations for COP28, including the need to keep global warming to 1.5°C within reach and to work together to support people and communities everywhere who are experiencing severe impacts as a result of the climate crisis. Canada stressed the need for new and enhanced concrete actions to reduce emissions, its commitment to an inclusive approach to addressing climate change, the importance of establishing a fund and funding arrangements for loss and damage at COP28, as well as its commitment to make climate and biodiversity action mutually reinforcing following the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework during COP15. Canada came to Brussels ready to demonstrate and deliver on an ambitious outcome.
The Minister also announced $450 million in new funding for the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), a 50 percent increase from Canada’s pledge to the GCF’s first replenishment in 2019. The GCF is a critical funding mechanism of the Paris Agreement to support low-emission, climate-resilient development pathways. Minister Guilbeault encouraged other countries to follow Canada’s contribution to the GCF, which will further strengthen its ability to respond to the climate crisis and is part of the collective US$100 billion climate finance goal, which is on track to be achieved this year and through to 2025.
During MoCA, the Minister collaborated with his co-conveners from China and the EU. The Minister also strengthened relationships with representatives of several countries, including Singapore’s Minister of Sustainability and the Environment, Grace Fu; German State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, Jennifer Morgan; and the United Kingdom’s Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, Graham Stuart. Furthermore, the Minister hosted a roundtable discussion with youth, environmental non-governmental organizations, think tanks, and leading business organizations on the clean energy transition and our shared climate priorities.
“It’s sobering to witness smoke from Canada’s historic forest fires this spring reaching as far as Europe. This is a stark reminder that the climate crisis is affecting us all. We need to work together and take more ambitious action. The world is looking to those of us in leadership positions to put aside any differences and deliver real solutions across all fronts—the cost of failure is too high.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Ministers and high-level representatives of more than 20 countries participated in MoCA7: Belgium, Canada, China, Egypt (COP27 President), Ethiopia, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Senegal (Chair of Least Developed Countries), Singapore, South Korea, Spain (President of the Council of the European Union), Switzerland, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates (COP28 President), the United Kingdom, the United States, and Zambia (Chair of African Group). European Union representatives also took part.
Canada hosted the first Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (MoCA) in Montréal in 2017. The goal is to bring together major economies and key climate actors to discuss concrete steps to help advance implementation of the Paris Agreement and demonstrate continued commitment to global climate action.
This spring, Minister Guilbeault and Jennifer Morgan, German State Secretary and Special Envoy for International Climate Action, hosted a group of climate finance contributors to take stock of the US$100 billion collective mobilization goal. Based on the positive updates from this meeting, contributors reiterated confidence that they are on track to meet the goal this year and each year through 2025.
In 2021, Canada doubled its international climate finance commitment to $5.3 billion over five years and is delivering on its commitment. Canada’s total climate finance goes beyond its official climate finance pledge and includes funding export credit support, core contributions to multilateral development banks, private finance mobilized through public investments, support from FinDev Canada, and other international assistance with a climate change component.
Canada continues to support efforts by developing countries to phase out coal and has made progress on the Accelerating Coal Transition (ACT) program under the Climate Investment Funds (CIF). Canada’s contribution, which represents approximately one third of total current funding, directly supports coal-power retirement plans in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Africa, the Dominican Republic, and North Macedonia.
As part of its commitment to tackle multiple crises and support multilateralism, Canada will continue to collaborate on key issues ahead of COP28 later this year and will welcome the world to Ottawa in April 2024 for the fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) on Plastic Pollution to work toward a global agreement.
- Canada’s international climate finance
- 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Clean Air, Strong Economy
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- Key international meeting on legally binding international plastic pollution agreement set for Canada in 2024
- Canada announces $450 million for the Green Climate Fund, the world’s largest dedicated climate change fund
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada
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