Seventh Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA7) – Opening Remarks


July 13, 2023 – Brussels, Belgium

Vice-President Timmermans,

Minister Huang,

Distinguished guests, delegates and media representatives,

Good morning!

Thank you to our hosts from the European Union for welcoming us here to Brussels for this Seventh Ministerial on Climate Action.

I would like to thank Minister Huang for his leadership as co-chair.

Most recently, forest fires raging in Canada that are of historic proportions have reminded us, by spreading their smoke to European skies, that the repercussions of climate change are borderless, affecting the economy as much as physical and psychological health.

As the world was watching those horrifying fires and Indigenous peoples in the North of Canada evacuating their homes, we also witnessed a rain of support from many countries here today.

On behalf of my government, I want to say thank you!

When I talk to my kids about the cascading and extreme impacts of the climate crisis, they share how much they and their friends are afraid of their future.

As a former activist, I know how powerful it is to build hope in the face of uncertainty.

Hope that brings us together to keep a fighting chance of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 °C, and of limiting the associated impacts on people and nature.

We have the opportunity in 2023 to make the best use of the Global Stocktake.

At COP28, this process will help us to see where we’re making progress, collectively, toward meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement—and where we need to focus next.

We can’t afford a meaningless stocktake.

This is about accountability of our previous, current, and future efforts.

And this is also about being responsive to the expectations the world has for COP28.

Let’s use these next two days to set up ambitious expectations for COP28, and secure new commitments with real and tangible global impact.

Commitments like:

  • peaking global emissions by 2025;
  • accelerating the phase-out of unabated fossil fuels;
  • moving from phasing down to phasing out coal; and
  • making new financial pledges to support partners in the Global South.

Ambitious global action today is a matter of survival.

And while this was true already in 2016, the world has significantly changed since our first MoCA.

We are seeing an acceleration of the frequency and severity of climate impacts.

And at the same time, we are witnessing an acceleration in the implementation of climate policies everywhere.

All while making record investments to support our clean energy transitions.

The moment we are in is testing our ability to cooperate like never before to protect our citizens from the devastating impacts of the climate crisis.

And to ensure we build a more affordable and cleaner future for our children—a future full of opportunities.

That’s why Canada has come forward to support initiatives that can help accelerate ambition.

For instance, the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, which can go a long way in helping us achieve net zero by 2050 and provide revenue to support affordable climate action.

A few years ago, we established a federal carbon pricing system in Canada.

And now, we are challenging the entire world to follow our example and triple the global coverage of carbon pricing, from around 20 percent of global emissions today to 60 percent by 2030.

We encourage everyone to join us.

Delivering hope to the world means being accountable to our partners and supporting a more ambitious mobilization of resources, including confirming that we will meet the $100 billion in 2023.

Just last December, at the COP15 Biodiversity Conference, we brought all 196 Parties together to support the Kunming–Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework.

This is a historic commitment to halt and reverse nature loss, including through the 30×30 conservation plan. It required recognizing that increasing financial support is an enabler to increase ambition everywhere.

We need to enhance the global climate finance architecture to better support the most vulnerable countries in the world.

Canada is pledging $450 million toward the second replenishment of the Green Climate Fund.

Our Prime Minister, our Minister of International Development, and I are committed to strengthening Canada’s role and partnerships around the world.

That’s why our new pledge is an increase of 50 percent above our previous pledge.

Strengthening these partnerships is not just a matter of solidarity, but also the right thing to do to support our collective progress toward:

  • meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement, and
  • supporting the Green Climate Fund’s efforts in the Global South, women’s rights and access for Indigenous peoples’ climate and biodiversity conservation efforts.

I want to work with everyone to deliver an outcome on loss and damage that contributes to closing gaps in the existing global financial landscape, and to providing them with adequate support.

I look forward to our discussions over the next two days to set us up for success at COP28.

Urgent climate action this decade requires unique collaboration, ambition—and more importantly renewed hope, as the world is progressing from obligation to opportunity.

The moment we are in is historic in both how we experience the impacts of the climate crisis and in our ability to respond to it.

Opportunities that incentivize accelerated action, for us here in Brussels and for those at home expecting us to deliver.

Let’s get to work.

Thank you. Merci.

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