The world is at a critical moment in its history. People around the world – including Canadians – are already feeling the effects of climate change through extreme weather events, melting permafrost in the Arctic, sea-level rise, and more. Climate change is threatening life as we know it.

The science is clear: countries around the world must reach their Paris Agreement targets in order to keep warming within safe limits. Canada has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030, and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

We have participated in the Climate Leadership Conference for several years to take part in the important exchange of ideas across all levels of government and between the public and private sectors.

Canada is taking strong, measurable action on climate change. The Government of Canada – in partnership with the provinces and territories – is implementing the national climate plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which is making major progress towards meeting and exceeding the 2030 Paris Agreement target.

Some of the more than 50 measures under the Pan-Canadian Framework include:

  • Introducing new regulations to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas sector;
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles;
  • Accelerating the phase-out of coal-fired electricity;
  • And launching a suite of programs to build Canada’s resilience to climate change, including establishing the Canadian Centre for Climate Services to improve access to climate science and information.

Additionally, the Government of Canada implemented a price on carbon pollution across the country. Canada actively encourages other countries to adopt carbon pricing as the most effective and affordable way to reduce emissions, while growing the economy.

Canada’s climate plan was developed inclusively and collaboratively with provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and Canadians across the country. Emissions in 2030 are projected to be 227 million tonnes lower than projected before the Pan-Canadian Framework was adopted. This is an historic level of emissions reductions.

Innovation is another important part of climate action, both domestically and internationally. Since 2016, the Government of Canada has invested more than $3 billion in the clean technology sector to develop new technologies to reduce emissions. Canadian companies are committed to becoming global leaders in the clean energy future.

Canada played a leading role in negotiating the Paris Agreement in 2015, and the Government continues to engage with a variety of partners who are committed to tackling climate change. For example, through the North American Climate Leadership Dialogue, Canada is working with Mexico and the U.S. Climate Alliance, a bipartisan coalition of 25 U.S. Governors, to accelerate key climate priorities across North America.

Transitioning to a low-carbon economy is an economic opportunity worth over US $26 trillion, and will bring with it up to 65 million new jobs by 2030, according to the Global Commission on Economy and Climate. An opportunity which Canadian businesses are increasingly taking advantage of in order to remain competitive in a world transitioning to a cleaner future.

Countries can accomplish a lot when we all work together. Collectively, we can develop innovative solutions, adopt concrete actions. We can – and must – do it together.