Environment Canada

Environment Canada

December 11, 2008 12:55 ET

Canada's Environment Minister Delivers National Statement at United Nations Climate Change Conference

POZNAN, POLAND--(Marketwire - Dec. 11, 2008) - The Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment, today delivered Canada's national statement to delegates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference. The 14th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP14) marks the one-year countdown to an agreed deadline for international consensus on a new global climate change agreement.

"Canada believes that a shared vision for long term cooperation that places us on the path to a low carbon future is required. That shared vision must ensure continued economic growth and sustainable development while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2050," said Minister Prentice. "Achieving that balance will require cooperative action in many areas over the long-term, including strengthening adaptation, and increasing global supplies of secure, affordable and clean energy."

Minister Prentice stressed that urgent global action on climate change and the economy is required by all major emitters to achieve dramatic increases in energy efficiency, to significantly expand the use of low-carbon and renewable fuels, and to encourage the rapid development and deployment of clean energy technologies.

Working with our provincial and territorial governments, Canada is committed to developing and implementing a North America-wide cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases.

"Canada is committed to reducing its total greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020, while ensuring that our actions, going forward, are comparable with those of other developed countries," said Minister Prentice. "We will achieve this goal by implementing ambitious domestic action."

At home, Canada has set a goal of meeting 90% of our electricity needs from non-emitting sources such as hydro, nuclear, clean coal or wind power by 2020. We are also working closely with provincial governments by investing heavily in clean technologies, including next generation biofuels and the large-scale commercial demonstration of carbon capture and storage.

"The responsibility to protect our climate is ours alone," said Minister Prentice. "Guided by our shared vision of a low carbon future, and by working together, I am confident that we can place our planet on a new path of sustainability and economic progress."


REMARKS FOR THE HONOURABLE JIM PRENTICE

COP 14 NATIONAL STATEMENT

POZNAN, POLAND

DECEMBER 11, 2008

Check against delivery


Thank you Mr. President.

I am pleased to be here as Canada's Environment Minister. It's been less than six weeks since I was appointed by the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

I am proud to be joined at this conference by opposition Members of Canada's Parliament, and by Ministers from the Yukon and the provincial governments of Alberta, and Quebec.

And I have had the opportunity to meet here in Poznan with many young Canadians and Aboriginal people, who reflect the deep concern of Canadians about climate change.

Canada, like the rest of the world, worries about the health of our planet, and is already living with the impacts of a changing climate.

We must bring to these negotiations a sense of urgency and a shared vision for long-term cooperation that places us on the path to a low carbon future.

And we must ensure that our vision is informed by the best science and also by the traditional knowledge and voices of aboriginal people.

This shared vision must ensure continued economic growth and sustainable development while reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent by 2050.

Achieving this balance will require long term cooperative action in many areas, including strengthening adaptation, and increasing global supplies of secure, affordable and clean energy.

Canada has the potential to make a significant contribution to meeting this global challenge. For example we have set ambitious goals for meeting our electricity needs from non-emitting sources and we are building partnerships to invest heavily in other clean technologies, including next generation biofuels and carbon capture and storage.

Canada is committed to reducing its total greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring that our actions, going forward, are comparable with those of other developed countries.

We intend to forge an immediate relationship with the new American administration to address this issue that straddles our border.

We are committed to working to develop and implement a North America-wide cap and trade system for greenhouse gases.

We believe that effective global measures regarding climate change and the economy can only occur with the commitment and contribution of all major economies.

In the meantime, we must increase our support for the poorest and most vulnerable countries to help them become more resilient to climate change and to adapt to its worst effects.

Canada recently announced 100 million dollars in funding to Africa and small island states to support this objective.

We must also take concrete action to ensure that international financial mechanisms are sufficient to offer these countries the aid that they so greatly need.

Guided by our shared vision of a low carbon future, and working together, I am confident that we can place our world on a new path of sustainability and economic progress.

Thank you.

Egalement offert en francais

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of the Environment
    Frederic Baril
    Press Secretary
    819-997-1441
    In Poland: +48 51 382 98 21
    or
    Environment Canada
    Media Relations
    819-934-8008
    1-888-908-8008
    www.ec.gc.ca