Canada’s House of Commons will vote on a resolution this week to ratify the Paris Agreement, even though a pan-Canadian plan to implement the country’s greenhouse gas reduction commitments is still a work in progress.
While the government has the authority to ratify the agreement without bringing it before the House, “we think it’s important that parliamentarians should have a chance to debate and vote on this important issue,” a government source told CBC.
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The Commons debate will take place just days after India ratified the agreement on Sunday, October 2, a decision timed to coincide with the birthday of Indian independence leader Mahatma Gandhi. India was the 62nd country to ratify, bringing nations representing 51.89% of global greenhouse gas emissions into the agreement, according to the World Resources Institute’s Paris tracker. Paris will enter into force 30 days after it has been ratified by at least 55 countries representing at least 55% of global emissions.
With 1.95% of the global total, Canada was the world’s seventh-larger emitter in 2011 with the European Union counted as a single bloc.
The House debate will occur in the same week that Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna meets her provincial/territorial counterparts to discuss progress toward a pan-Canadian plan. Timing for a first ministers’ climate meeting later this year is still taking shape. Last week brought news that some provincial premiers were trying to tie discussion of the climate plan to an ongoing debate over federal-provincial transfer payments for health care.