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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

15 September 2017

Canada, China and the EU co-host meeting to talk the post-US withdrawal Paris Agreement

Canada, China and the EU will co-host a meeting in Montreal on Saturday 16 September to discuss, for the first time, the course of the Paris Agreement implementation progress after the withdrawal of the US from the climate accord.

According to reports so far, the meeting will be attended by approximately 30 Environment Ministers from all around the world.

At least half of the G-20 member states will attend, representing most of the world’s largest economies.

Among the known participants are Russia, India, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, South Korea and Turkey.

The Marshall Islands, Fiji and Maldives will be representing some of the low-lying nations that face the biggest climate change risks and Mali and Ethiopia will represent some of the poorest countries.

A representative from the European Commission said: “This first gathering of its kind aims to further galvanise global momentum for the implementation of the Paris Agreement”.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment said in a statement: “This meeting brings together major economies and key climate actors to advance the implementation of the Paris Agreement and demonstrate continued commitment to global action on climate change”.

Canadian officials have said that the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau will make a brief appearance, reaffirming Canada’s strong commitment to reduce carbon emissions.

Europe’s top Climate Official, Miguel Arias Canete said that state members of the European Union continue to push for “full and swift implementation” of the accord, emphasising that the EU’s plan on how to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030 is almost finalised.

According to a spokeswoman from Canada’s Ministry of Environment, despite Canada being the world’s sixth-largest oil producer, the country’s climate goal is to massively invest on clean energy technologies.

China will be represented by Xie Zhenhua, who intends to bring to the table a potentially major advancement in the transportation sector.

One of the meeting’ aim is to redefine the global climate leadership structure, after the world’s biggest economy, and as of recently the major leader in the global push towards climate action, left a gap in the international climate politics landscape.

Jean- Claude Junker, the European Commission President, in a speech in Strasbourg on Thursday stated that the EU will continue to be in the forefront of the fight against climate change revealing that he is about to put forth a proposal to reduce emissions from transportation sector.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment said that holding the meeting in Montreal is not a coincidence, as it is there that the first international environmental agreement was signed thirty years ago for the ban on ozone-depleting gases was signed, – the sole completely successful international environmental agreement so far.

Meantime, according to the New York Times, Gary Cohn, the Head of Trump’s National Economic Council said that he would bring together a dozen of ministers in New York on Monday for a breakfast meeting.

Climate Home media reports that one Senior Climate Diplomat had said: “We are expecting to hear something from the US at this ministerial about their re-engagement with Paris”.

“It is likely to be quite Paris-specific as they intend to engage actively and constructively in the work programme – they are characterising it as ‘active and constructive’”.

The source added: “The message is that they are exploring terms that do not involve any quest to renegotiate Paris”. 

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