Countries around the world are witnessing dangerous wildfires and invasive species to extreme weather events like flooding, droughts and record-breaking heat waves.
The increasing toll of climate change at home and around the world and the need for ambitious international action is why Canada identified climate action, oceans and clean energy as one of its priority themes for its G7 presidency in 2018.
It is also why they announced commitments to climate change and sustainable finance.
As part of the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans, and Clean Energy, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, hosted counterparts from France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union along with representatives from Jamaica, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Norway, Seychelles and Vietnam in Halifax today to discuss accelerating global action to fight climate change and drive clean growth.
The international representatives discussed the Paris Agreement on climate change and the importance of landing a clear set of rules, which will enhance transparency and accountability for implementing the Agreement before the end of the year, which will help unleash private sector investment and create new jobs in clean growth.
Lord Nicholas Stern, on behalf of the New Climate Economy, provided a brief from the G7 Sustainable Finance Roundtable held yesterday. He emphasized that clean growth could add at least $26 trillion to the global economy and 65 million jobs worldwide by 2030. The G7 discussion highlighted the importance of ensuring the right market conditions to turn the billions to trillions of investment for clean growth.
Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England, Kristalina Georgieva, the CEO of the World Bank, Feike Sijbesma, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman, Royal DSM, and Paul Polman, CEO of multinational company Unilever, spoke to the G7 ministers about the need for countries to adopt practical national policies, including putting a price on pollution and disclosing financial risk to climate change, which will help move from billions to trillions of dollars invested in clean growth.
Climate change is already imposing a high price on people and communities around the world. To address this, G7 representatives discussed the importance of further supporting vulnerable countries and populations in adapting to the impacts and increased risks of climate change, including through innovative financing.
As climate change has disproportionate impacts on women, the G7 Environment Ministers also addressed gender equality and climate action.
Isabelle Hudon, Canada’s Ambassador to France and the co-Chair of the Gender Equality Advisory Council for Canada’s G7 presidency, was invited to speak on the importance of bringing women’s leadership to climate solutions and working to support women in vulnerable situations and women entrepreneurs as they manage the impacts of climate change, including the voices of grassroots and Indigenous women.
Ministers discussed the importance of bringing women’s leadership to climate action solutions and working to support women in vulnerable situations and women entrepreneurs as they manage the impacts of climate change, including the voices of grassroots and Indigenous women.
Minister McKenna also shared perspectives that emerged from a summit she hosted with women climate leaders in Quebec earlier this year focused on increasing ambition on climate action.
Ministers also discussed the economic opportunity and environmental benefits of a circular economy, hearing from Walmart and BASF Canada to further advance efforts towards cleaner growth,. Finding ways to better reuse, recycle and reduce plastic pollution will not only keep plastics out of our oceans and waters, but will ensure its economic value remains in the economy.
Conserving nature and nature-based climate mitigation and adaptation solutions, and achieve climate and health benefits by working together on air quality, also featured prominently in discussions.