Canada's climate change statement in Durban

Canada's national statement at the UN climate change conference in Durban, South Africa, delivered by Environment Minister Peter Kent on Dec. 7.

Canada's national statement at COP17 in Durban, South Africa, delivered by Environment Minister Peter Kent on Dec. 7:

The Canadian government — and reasonable Canadians generally — recognize that global issues like climate change require global solutions.

Here in Durban, I have seen commendable commitment to work together…

To collectively — and effectively — deal with climate change.

Representatives from countries big and small, rich and poor, have come together out of genuine concern and with common purpose.

And Canada is a willing partner. We are here to work hard and to work constructively toward new solutions and new approaches to deal with our climate change challenges.

Our position has long been clear: we support a new international climate change agreement that includes commitments from all major emitters. That is the only way we are going to achieve real reductions and real results. 

We must be fair if we are to be effective.

That is why for Canada, the Kyoto Protocol is not where the solution lies — it is an agreement that covers fewer than 30 per cent of global emissions. 

It is an approach that does not lead to more comprehensive engagement of key parties who need to be actively part of a global agreement.  

Nor does it provide for individual countries to take action that reflects national circumstances.

It is for all these reasons that we have long said we will not take on a second commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

Kyoto, for Canada, is in the past.

On the other hand: Canada believes that the Cancun Agreements, adopted at COP 16 and flowing from the Copenhagen Accord, do provide a sound conceptual and practical framework to advance our collective engagement to address climate change.

The countries who have signed up for the Cancun Agreements cover over three-quarters of global emissions — already double those covered by Kyoto. 

The Cancun Agreements are more realistic than Kyoto. They are more comprehensive than Kyoto. We believe they will be more effective than Kyoto.

At home, Canada is already making great progress toward our ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 per cent over 2005 levels by 2020. 

This is a target that is aligned with the United States, our closest neighbour and most important trading partner. We are doing this sector by sector.


We started with transportation and electricity— the two largest sources greenhouse gas emissions in Canada —and we will continue to proceed to address emissions from other major-emitting sectors. 

We are working in partnership with our provinces and territories to help us reach our national targets; each jurisdiction is contributing to get real results.

From programs to get more electric vehicles rolling on our roads to the development of carbon capture and storage, from the closure of dirty coal plants to the harnessing of hydro-electric power…

Our collective action is allowing us to go further, faster.

It is that same sort of approach that we are seeking to advance here on the internationally scene-all parties working collaboratively together to address a common challenge.

As part of our balanced approach, we are also helping developing countries do their share.

We are working with them on clean technology projects and adaptation strategies with $1.2 billion in fast-start financing.

We also support the Green Climate Fund as part of the broader package of an international solution.

Canada is carrying our weight — and doing our share.

And we hope all countries will join us in this global effort by undertaking concrete and quantifiable measures to reduce emissions significantly. 

Again, Canada supports the blueprint put forward at Cancun.