Canada's McKenna 'thrilled' with Paris climate agreement

PARIS -- A "thrilled" Catherine McKenna said Saturday that Canadian spirit played a role in the Paris climate agreement.

"It is an incredible day today, to see 195 countries come together and reach consensus on a climate change agreement that is going to make huge changes in terms of how we tackle possibly devastating consequences on climate changes," the federal environment minister told reporters.

See Full Article

"I'm really thrilled Canada was able to play an active part of it."

The agreement asks all countries to restrict their greenhouse gas emissions for the first time and limits temperature rise to two degrees Celsius from pre-industrial levels.

In the pact, the countries pledge to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally, beginning at some point between 2050 and 2100.

In practical terms, achieving that goal means the world would have to stop emitting greenhouse gases -- most of which come from the burning of oil, coal and gas for energy -- altogether in the next half-century, scientists said.

McKenna, who had a more prominent role at the conference after being named a facilitator by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, said the deal shows multilateralism works and that countries can come together for a common purpose and for the better of future generations.

"It sets the international framework," she said. 'We need to be ambitious now in Canada too.

"There were divergences of opinion but it's a Canadian spirit that we could do that (reach a deal), bring people together, to find agreement that it's important to have friendship."

Experts and environmentalists tried to inject a practical note into the celebration over the agreement, pointing out Canada still doesn't have a national emissions target.

The document doesn't set a target and Canada hasn't released one either, Conservative environment critic Ed Fast was quick to point out.

He said all "major emitters" should be consulted before the government releases its targets in an effort to avoid "massive taxes" on emissions.

"We're now seeing tens of thousands of jobs being lost in our energy sector," he said. "That will continue, going forward. It's going to take realistic, prudent policies to allow us to meet our climate change commitment, yet ensure that our economy continues to grow."

There has been concern that meeting the temperature reduction targets would prove too jarring a jolt to Alberta's petro-based economy, leading to a substantial loss in investment and jobs.

But Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, who introduced her own greenhouse gas strategy last month, said she is confident the province can contribute and thrive under the targets. She said she is focusing on executing Alberta's plan and meshing it with the national framework.

"I think ultimately within the overarching federal context, our plan will be good news for Alberta and will be able to make an appropriate contribution," Notley said in Edmonton on Saturday.

The CEO of GLOBE Series, an organization that runs corporate sustainability conferences, said the Paris agreement actually opens doors for economic growth in Canada.

"We've been highly exposed to job loss because of Alberta, and the fact that our economy in Canada relies quite heavily on oil and gas revenues," Nancy Wright said in referring to the recent drop in oil prices. "By developing our clean technology sector in Canada, it helps buffer things like that."

However, Fast noted the fact remains that Canadians can't know what's coming until the federal government comes out with its plan.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau previously said his government will meet with the provinces and territories to develop emissions plans once the climate talks in Paris concluded.

Erin Flanagan, federal policy director of the environment think tank Pembina Institute, agreed that Trudeau should have a federal plan to fight climate change.

"On their own, provincial commitments will not ensure Canada does its fair share to reduce emissions," she said in a news release.

And the New Democrats said the government should "enshrine" its emissions targets in a climate accountability law, to keep the government accountable.

NDP leader Tom Mulcair tweeted his support of the pact shortly after its release.

"Excited that the world has reached a climate change pact. Canada must now move from words to action," he wrote.

With files from Nicole Thompson in Toronto



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Crews save homes from fire in California canyons

    World News CTV News
    Photos Source
  • Jared Kushner's lawyer reveals private email strategy to prankster

    World News CTV News
    Jared Kushner’s lawyer in the scandal involving his use of a private email address has revealed part of the strategy he is employing with his client, in an email exchange with a prankster who posed as Kushner. Source
  • Stunning lawsuit against 'Big Coffee' could lead to cancer warning labels in California [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    LOS ANGELES — A future cup of coffee in California could give you jitters before you even take a sip. A non-profit group wants coffee manufacturers, distributors and retailers to post ominous warnings about a cancer-causing chemical stewing in every brew and has been presenting evidence in a Los Angeles courtroom to make its case. Source
  • Televangelist David Mainse, host of '100 Huntley Street', dies at 81

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian televangelist David Mainse, who hosted “100 Huntley Street,” has died at age 81. The Burlington, Ont.-based Crossroads Christian Communications Inc., which Mainse founded, said the reverend died after a battle with MDS leukemia. Source
  • Macron calls on Europe to reject isolationism, for EU to share a military force

    World News CBC News
    Calling Europe slow, weak and ineffective, French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said the EU should embrace a joint budget, shared military force and harmonized taxes to stay globally relevant. "At the beginning of the next decade, Europe must have a joint intervention force, a common defence budget and a joint doctrine for action," said Macron. Source
  • Full federal court to hear ’Making a Murderer’ appeal

    World News Toronto Sun
    MADISON, Wis. — A federal appeals court will consider arguments Tuesday over whether detectives tricked a Wisconsin inmate featured in the “Making a Murderer” series into confessing and whether he should go free in a case that puts police practices in the spotlight. Source
  • Toronto cop who Tasered and stomped on suspect appears before disciplinary hearing

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- A Toronto police sergeant who stomped on and repeatedly Tasered a man during arrest has made his first appearance at a disciplinary hearing. Sgt. Eduardo Miranda was charged with unlawful or unnecessary use of authority and discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act after a civilian police oversight agency investigation. Source
  • Bangladesh plans separate shelters for Rohingya children

    World News CTV News
    DHAKA, Bangladesh -- Bangladesh is planning to build separate shelters for 6,000 Rohingya Muslim children who entered the country without parents to escape violence in neighbouring Myanmar, a government official said Tuesday. Children make up about 60 per cent of the estimated 480,000 Rohingya Muslims who have poured into Bangladesh over the last four weeks to flee persecution in Buddhist-majority Myanmar. Source
  • Former B.C. finance minister Mike de Jong enters Liberal leadership race

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- British Columbia's former finance minister Mike de Jong has announced his bid for the provincial Liberal leadership, joining a race that already includes two other past cabinet ministers and the former mayors of B.C. Source
  • Trump to visit Puerto Rico next Tuesday

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Donald Trump says he'll visit hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico next Tuesday. Trump announced the visit after the administration came under criticism for its response to the damage on the island that is home to more than 3 million U.S. Source