COP26: Minister Steven Guillebault shows “cautious optimism”

COP26: Minister Steven Guillebault shows

OTTAWA – Steven Guillebault is used to UN climate conferences, but this will be his first front row seat. The new environment minister says it is still too early to make a diagnosis at COP26, which opens on Sunday in Glasgow, Scotland.

In a press conference on Friday, Gilbault said he was showing “cautious optimism” about the sometimes “tough” talks to be held in the next two weeks with delegations around the world.

“We often look at these conventions like we watch a game of hockey or football – are there going to be winners? Whereas I think the most cautious approach in the United Nations and climate negotiations is to look at it as a continuation. Sometimes It gets better, sometimes it’s not so good. But it’s not because things are not going as well as we had hoped nothing will come out of the conference,” he said.

In anticipation of COP26, Canada co-chaired a working group with Germany, within two years, to help developing countries tackle the climate crisis, aiming for $100 billion from industrialized countries, the largest emitters. To get. This commitment was made at the 2009 Copenhagen summit; COP organizers now say they are confident of getting there in 2023, three years behind the original target.

However, there will be a major absence at COP26, as Chinese President Xi Jinping, unlike many of his counterparts, will not be there. China, the world’s biggest emitter, recently revealed its climate commitments – reaching a peak in emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060 – are deemed inadequate by Greenpeace in East Asia.

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“We would certainly prefer, in Canada, that President Xi Jinping was part of the Glasgow Conference. Most of the heads of state and government would be there,” Mr. Gilbault said.

“I am not in a position to lecture one country or another, but I am the first to recognize that Canada needs to do more. And all the major emitters, which obviously include the largest emitters, What is now China, should also do more in the fight against climate change,” said the environment minister.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on his official visit to the Netherlands, stressed the importance of working in partnership with his allies to advance climate issues.

“I want to stress how important it is that coalition countries such as the Netherlands and Canada align themselves to work together to ensure that our G20 partners, our allies in the COP, recognize that We should be more ambitious and that is part of the conversation we had today to have a coordinated and strategic approach to the G20 and COP26”, he said along with his Dutch counterpart Mark Root.

Mr Trudeau was due to leave for Rome, Italy in the evening, where the G20 leaders’ summit will take place. On Monday and Tuesday, he will attend the COP26 meeting in Glasgow with the Canadian delegation.

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