VANCOUVER — Today at the United Nations climate summit, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau outlined a five-pillared framework for developing a national climate action strategy and stressed the importance of building on solutions from provincial, municipal and indigenous leaders.

“Co-operation is what moves the needle on major issues like climate change,” said Ian Bruce, director of science and policy for the David Suzuki Foundation. “Canada’s federal government has a historic opportunity to show global leadership by recognizing the best provincial policies already in place and by strengthening and amplifying those solutions at a national scale.”

The five ideas at the heart of the federal government’s approach: a commitment to science-based decision-making; policies to develop a low-carbon economy including a national price on carbon pollution; a collaborative approach with municipal, provincial and indigenous leaders; assisting the developing world through financing for climate adaptation and mitigation projects; and viewing climate change as an opportunity to build a more innovative, clean economy.

The David Suzuki Foundation is encouraged by commitments made today by the prime minister. Given the pledge to develop both targets and a plan for action within 90 days of the UN climate summit, there is reason for optimism. The commitment to science-based decision-making and a collaborative approach that includes indigenous leaders represents a positive shift in Canadian climate policy. DSF will be looking for details in the plan that include ambitious targets, a national price on carbon pollution and a promise to speed up the transition to renewable energy.

The prime minister’s address comes following several weeks of announcements from governments across Canada to speed the transition to a clean energy economy.

Last week the federal government announced a five-year plan to contribute $2.65 billion to the United Nations Green Climate Fund for developing countries, but has yet to declare what its contributions will be post-2020, when developed nations have committed to contribute a total of $100 billion annually.

“The recent federal and provincial commitments have been substantial, but are not a complete response for the country,” said Bruce. “In order to seize the opportunity that the global climate summit represents, Canada needs to be clear about where it is going and how long it will take.

By acting as a country we can do much more to meet Canada’s commitments. That is the real strength of a federal, unifying climate strategy.”


For more information or commentary contact:

In Paris:
Steve Kux
David Suzuki Foundation

In Vancouver:
Theresa Beer
David Suzuki Foundation

In Montreal:
Manon Dubois
David Suzuki Foundation