In the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, developed countries committed to short and long-term financing to help developing countries address climate change. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is a new multilateral fund that was created following these commitments. It is designated as an operating entity of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) financial mechanism.
The GCF is intended to make a significant contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to address climate change, and is guided by the UNFCCC principles and provisions. The GCF is expected to become one of the principal channels for multilateral financial support for climate change adaptation by the poorest and most vulnerable countries. It is also expected to deploy innovative financing instruments to mobilize significant private sector investment to address climate change.
The GCF is governed by a Board composed of 24 members, and 24 alternate members with equal representation from developing and developed countries. The GCF’s governance arrangements are in line with international best practices and include appropriate accountability and redress mechanisms. Fiduciary standards have been established, including a results-based framework with high accountability and transparency standards. The World Bank is the interim trustee of the GCF and is managing the GCF’s financial assets.
Canada’s contributions to international climate financing initiatives demonstrate its continued leadership towards establishing a new international climate agreement in Paris in 2015 that includes binding obligations for all major emitters.
Over 2010–2011 to 2012–2013, Canada fully delivered on its short-term Copenhagen Accord commitment to provide its fair share of “fast-start” financing by delivering $1.2 billion in new and additional climate change financing to support developing countries' efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to changes in climate. This support focused on three priority areas—adaptation, clean energy, and forests and agriculture. More than 60 developing countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean are benefiting directly from funding delivered through Canada’s bilateral channels and Canadian facilities at multilateral institutions, and this number will grow as these facilities continue to make project commitments with available funds.
Canada extends its efforts beyond the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by working with other countries through complementary forums such as the Arctic Council, the Montreal Protocol, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to develop practical and collaborative initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and short-lived climate pollutants. Canada is a founding member and leading financial contributor to the CCAC which is focused on reducing short-lived climate pollutants, such as black carbon, methane, tropospheric ozone and some hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
Canada, together with the United States and Mexico, is also leading international efforts to use the expertise and institutions of the Montreal Protocol to phase down the production and consumption of HFCs, which are potent GHGs. This supports the recent announcement by the Minister of the Environment that the Government of Canada will take regulatory action to phase down HFCs in Canada.
Under its chairmanship of the Arctic Council, Canada is also advancing the development of a new framework for action on black carbon and methane to address short-lived climate pollutants in the Arctic.
Domestically, the Government of Canada is taking decisive action to reduce GHG emissions while protecting the environment and supporting economic prosperity. The government has already taken action on two of Canada’s largest sources of GHG emissions: transportation and electricity.
As a result of this action:
- Canada became the first major coal user to ban the construction of traditional coal-fired electricity generation units.
- In the first 21 years, the coal regulations are expected to result in a cumulative reduction in GHG emissions of about 214 megatonnes (Mt)—the equivalent of removing 2.6 million personal vehicles from the road per year over this period.
- 2025 passenger vehicles and light trucks will emit about half as many GHGs as 2008 models.
- 2025 vehicles would also consume up to 50 per cent less fuel than 2008 vehicles—leading to significant savings at the pump.
- GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles would be reduced by up to 23 per cent.
- Canada’s 2020 GHG emissions are projected to be 128 Mt lower relative to a scenario with no action since 2005.
- In 2012, Canada’s GHG emissions were 5.1 per cent lower than in 2005, while the economy grew by 10.6 per cent during the same period.