Minister Guilbeault takes Canada’s climate policy ambition to the United Nations in New York

News release

September 18, 2023 – Gatineau, Quebec

As Canadians continue to be impacted by the devastating effects of climate-related wildfires, floods, and extreme weather events this year, the Government of Canada is accelerating efforts to cut carbon pollution at the pace and scale needed to keep the 1.5°Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement within reach. It is also investing in the future of Canadians to ensure a strong economy with affordable, sustainable livelihoods.

This week, the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, will be in New York City from September 18 to 22, 2023, to participate in the United Nations General Assembly’s Climate Ambition Summit and a week of high-level engagements.

In response to United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, who is calling on “first movers and doers”, Canada will share its progress on the implementation of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, and its efforts to cut plastic pollution and protect biodiversity. Minister Guilbeault, who was recently named by the COP28 Presidency as co-facilitator of the upcoming discussions on means of implementation for the Paris Agreement global stocktake, will be pushing for increased ambition from all partners.

Canada’s leadership includes:

  • The best record on emissions among G7 partners since 2020.
  • Strengthening carbon pollution pricing nationwide while returning all proceeds to Canadians, ensuring that most families get back more than they pay.
  • Eliminating inefficient fossil fuel subsidies by the end of the year, making Canada the first to release a rigorous analytical guide that both fulfills its commitment and transparently supports action.
  • Building a clean electricity grid by 2035 through significant investment and new regulations.
  • Overhauling its auto sector so that all new light-duty vehicles sold in Canada by 2035 are zero emission.
  • Raising its ambition on methane, with Canada on track to reduce domestic methane emissions by more than 35 percent by 2030, compared to 2020 levels, including a target to reduce methane from its oil and gas sector by at least 75 percent by 2030.

Internationally, Canada:

  • Has doubled its climate finance commitment to accelerate efforts to deliver on the US$100 billion global annual climate finance goal, including an early contribution of $450 million to the Green Climate Fund, a 50 percent increase from its 2019 pledge.
  • Co-leads the Powering Past Coal Alliance alongside the UK, with the goal of accelerating the transition from coal to clean energy.
  • Pledged $200 million to the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund that was established at the Global Environment Facility Assembly in August 2023, making it the first country to contribute.
  • Hosted the first-ever Ministerial on Nature, where participants agreed to form a Nature Champions Network for the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework to help achieve global goals agreed to at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) in Montréal last year, including protecting 30 percent of land and water by 2030.
  • Launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge, a partnership of countries around the world committed to accelerating climate action by expanding the carbon pricing coverage to reach 60 percent of global emissions by 2030.
  • Is continuing to address plastic pollution worldwide as an inaugural member of the High Ambition Coalition to End Plastic Pollution by 2040, and as host of the upcoming fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4) to develop an ambitious global agreement on plastic pollution.

Throughout the week, Minister Guilbeault will continue to work with partners to achieve real solutions and build momentum heading into COP28.


“Over the past several months, Canadians have experienced a range of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, drought, heatwaves, flooding, and violent storms that have brought incredible destruction to the lives of many in our country. We know we are not alone in facing the devastating effects of climate change, and we are committed to real climate action, now, and on a faster timeline. We are working hard to be one of the “doers”, taking action both at home, and in our ongoing work with global partners. We will keep fighting for a better climate future for all.”
– The Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick facts

  • The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) opens every year in September, and includes a high-level week where heads of state and governments from all United Nations member states convene to discuss and work on a wide array of issues, including the environment and climate change.

  • Canada’s Ambassador for Climate Change, Catherine Stewart, will also be in New York City this week to attend meetings and events to promote Canada’s climate action.

  • To accelerate action by governments, businesses, financial institutions, local authorities, and civil society, this year the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, is convening the Climate Ambition Summit during the UNGA high-level week to encourage credible, serious, and new climate action and nature-based solutions that will move the needle forward and respond to the urgency of the climate crisis.

  • The 28th Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from November 30 to December 12, 2023, under the UAE Presidency.

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Kaitlin Power
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)

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