Civil society to keep Canada accountable at home

VANCOUVER | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORIES OF THE xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) FIRST NATIONS — With COP26 officially over, there’s little transformational action to celebrate, and much follow-up needed on delivering climate promises as Parliament reconvenes next week. David Suzuki Foundation climate director Sabaa Khan released the following statement:

“The Paris Agreement continued to evolve as intended. Its legal architecture is based on non-enforceable voluntary commitments, where opportunities to ratchet up ambition must be based on the latest climate science. While international co-operation on climate change is critical, this voluntary and flexible mechanism is clearly not enough to deliver results in line with what the climate emergency requires. The Paris Agreement alone does not compel states to address the root causes of the climate crisis. Humanity’s survival depends on a moratorium on all oil and gas production.

“The persistent shortfall in global climate financing was an epic fail for climate justice. The most vulnerable countries saw little delivery on calls for adequate financing or recognition of international Indigenous rights. Divisions among rich and poor countries and civil society and corporate interests increased, worsening the situation for those losing their lives, homes and livelihoods to climate change impacts.

“The ability to limit heating to 1.5 C was left on life support and commitments to limit fossil subsidies were watered down, contradicting what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change special ‘code red’ report and the International Energy Agency say is required according to science. But it’s a hopeful sign that many countries signed on to efforts to reduce or eliminate their methane emissions, fossil fuel production and fossil fuel subsidies abroad.

“We’ll be holding Canada accountable to use the momentum from this conference to fulfil its commitments back home. Canada must work quickly to update its climate plan, cap and ratchet down oil and gas emissions, and develop a plan for a managed production decline. To confirm a true change in direction, Canada must sign on to the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance and deliver on the commitment to end public finance for oil and gas subsidies abroad by 2022. Canada must also bring in just transition legislation without delay.

“While there’s a lot to criticize, we’ve also seen the power of civil society to stimulate change. We’ll continue to call for more climate ambition next year when countries meet once again.”

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