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Canada steps up its climate commitments, but total ambition falls short of what’s needed

April 22, 2021

Today at the Earth Day Summit, Prime Minister Trudeau announced Canada’s commitment to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions driving climate change by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This marks a significant step up from Canada’s previous commitment of 30 per cent, but more ambitious reductions are required to deliver a just, climate-resilient future.

Anya Knechtel, Policy Specialist at Oxfam Canada states, “Climate change, COVID-19 and inequality are compounding crises that are threatening the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable people; the Earth Day Summit should be the launching point for tackling these crises together. While a target of 40 to 45  per cent marks an increase in ambition, reductions of 60 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 are needed to limit climate-related risks and impacts that are disproportionately affecting women and marginalized communities.”

“We call on Prime Minister Trudeau to ensure environmental justice and gender justice are central to Canada’s climate actions. In addition to domestic actions, this will require Canada to commit at least $1.8 billion a year of public investments in climate finance in order to support women and other vulnerable people in developing countries to respond and adapt to climate change. Only by committing to a fair share of emissions reductions and climate finance, as well as supporting initiatives aimed at strengthening women’s resiliency to climate change, will Canada deliver on its commitment to feminist principles by ensuring our climate actions deliver a just, climate-resilient future that lets all people thrive.”

The poorest half of the world’s population —3.1 billion people— is responsible for just a small fraction of dangerous carbon emissions. Yet, while vulnerable people such as women struggling to feed their families in drought-stricken regions have done little to cause the problem, they bear the brunt of the climate crisis. The richest 10 per cent of people in the world, on the other hand, produced over half of global emissions.

As one of the top 10 global emitters and one of the largest per capita emitters of GHG emissions, Canada has a responsibility to undertake ambitious emissions reductions to cut emissions to net-zero over the next two decades. It must also deliver a fair and responsible share of the global commitment for climate finance to enable developing countries to transition to a low-carbon future, climate-resilient future as they work to recover from the pandemic.

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Notes to editors

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Paula Baker
Media Relations
Oxfam Canada
(613) 240-3047

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