Skip to navigation Skip to content

2 min

Now or never: Environment ministers must show more ambition in the fight against climate change

Published on 

Montréal, October 2, 2016 – This Monday, the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is meeting in Montréal to discuss the pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change.

Following the Vancouver Declaration in March 2016, the prime minister and the provincial and territorial premiers agreed to develop a pan-Canadian climate change framework. To this end, four working groups were established; their final recommendations will be submitted at the Montréal meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Environment. The final climate plan will be released at the next meeting between the Prime minister and the provincial and territorial premiers, scheduled for November.

On the eve of this meeting, a number of Canadian environmental groups are calling on the ministers to remember the commitments made in the Vancouver Declaration, as well as those made to the international community in the Paris Agreement.

“This plan is an opportunity to change the unfortunate trend where Canada makes international climate change commitments and then doesn’t deliver the goods,” says Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director of Équiterre. “We hope that Canada’s fragmentary approach to climate change will become a thing of the past and that the new consensus will lead to an ambitious climate plan that provides us with the means to reach or surpass the objectives we set in Paris.”

“We have seen very encouraging developments in the new Ontario, Québec, and Alberta climate plans. Several provinces are now making important reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a number of these provincial measures could now be adopted nation-wide,” adds Erin Flanagan, Federal Policy Director at the Pembina Institute. “However, the sum total of provincial efforts to reduce GHG will still not be sufficient to reach Canada’s target for 2030; the provinces must do even more, and the federal government must set an example in its own areas of jurisdiction.”

Équiterre, Environmental Defence, and the Pembina Institute are calling on the federal government to adopt ambitious measures to reduce GHG emissions, to close the gaps in provincial and territorial climate change policies, and to establish a climate plan in collaboration with the provinces, territories, Aboriginal peoples, and local governments.

“Canadians deserve federal climate leadership that will raise ambitions in all provinces," Dale Marshall, National Program Manager at Environmental Defence said. "It will be federal measures that Canadians judge when the pan-Canadian climate framework is released in November. We'll be watching to see if the government's actions match its strong statements about climate change. Talk alone is not enough."

- 30 -


Annie Bérubé, Équiterre, (613) 809-2855
Erin Flanagan, Pembina Institute, (587) 581-1701
Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, (647) 468-3641