While Canada was one of the 23 countries that signed last week’s Declaration for Ambition, aimed at accelerating their greenhouse gas reductions under the Paris Agreement, the Trudeau government’s immediate concern is with its current, Harper-era goal of cutting emissions 30% by 2030, Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna said last week.
That target is becoming increasingly elusive, with independent analysis showing a gap of more than 100 megatonnes between the goal and the country’s current emission reduction plans.
In Belgium last week for a ministerial meeting with the European Union and China, McKenna said Canada had no immediate plans to follow the EU’s lead and boost its target, The Canadian Press reports. “We negotiated an ambitious climate plan and we’re committed to implementing that plan,” she said. “That’s quite frankly our focus right now.”
But EU Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete was intent on having other countries amp up their ambition as his own jurisdictions had done. “Our collective Paris goal to pursue efforts to limit global average temperature rise to 2.0°C, and to limit this rise to well below 1.5°C requires each of us to look for deeper cuts than are reflected in our current Paris targets,” he said.
McKenna did, however, have a warning for the Trump administration while she was in Brussels, Bloomberg reports: the world is taking action on climate change, and the U.S. will only hurt itself by abandoning the field.
“I hate to say this, but I don’t want to overestimate the importance of the U.S.,” she said. “The world is moving forward because we need to do that for our kids, and there’s a huge economic opportunity.”