Thursday June 01, 2017

Canada vows to 'step up' after Trump pulls out of Paris climate accord

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is deeply concerned about the future of the Paris Climate Treaty.

Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna says Canada is deeply concerned about the future of the Paris Climate Treaty. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

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After U.S. President Donald Trump announced he's pulling out of the Paris climate accord, Canada will pick up the slack, says Environment Minister Catherine McKenna 

"We're deeply disappointed by the president's announcement," McKenna told As It Happens host Carol Off.

"We believe the Paris agreement is actually good for Canada and the world, and there's a huge economic opportunity, and if the U.S. is gonna step back, well we're gonna step up."

At a news conference in the White House Rose Garden on Thursday afternoon, Trump said the accord is "very unfair to the United States."

He said his country would either renegotiate its re-entry into the Paris agreement under different terms, or participate in the creation of a whole new climate deal.

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U.S. President Donald Trump announces his decision that the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

"Canada is absolutely committed to leading — not just because it's the right thing to do for our kids and grandkids, but also because there's a huge opportunity, and we've already shown leadership at the Paris agreement," McKenna said.

The federal government's role as climate leader, McKenna said, is "not inconsistent" with its support for pipelines and resource extraction projects.

"As the prime minister said, we wouldn't be able to get a serious climate plan without getting our resources to market, and we wouldn't be able to get our resources to market without a serious climate plan," she said.

"But let's be very clear, we are moving to a lower carbon future."