Open Letter to Deputy Minister Freeland on Climate Finance

by Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development | April 9, 2021
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Background media: A dark-skinned young woman in a long, black-and-white patterned dress and a red and black head scarf is standing in a drought-ridden field while her baby sleeps in a yellow and black sling.
Kieran Doherty / Oxfam

Open Letter to Deputy Minister Freeland on Climate Finance

by Canadian Coalition for Climate Change and Development | April 9, 2021
Mako and her husband Mahamud are pastoralist farmers living in the Somali region of Ethiopia whose lives and incomes are impacted by climate change. “The drought is real. We are affected by it now,” Mako says. “This year and last we have been affected by severe drought.”

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance
Department of Finance Canada

April 8, 2021

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance,

Budget 2021 is an opportunity for Canada, in the spirit of global cooperation, to deliver its fair and responsible share of international climate financing ahead of COP26. Climate objectives must not be pursued in isolation from other political outcomes such as fiscal responsibility and debt sustainability.

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of sustained investments in healthier, more equitable and environmentally sustainable communities. Our global challenges will not be solved unless they are solved everywhere. With the most marginalized communities and countries disproportionately affected we simply cannot afford to ignore responding to the existing crises, like the climate crisis.

A successful COP26 outcome will not be possible without concrete and robust climate finance pledges from developed countries including Canada. The United Kingdom recently pledged to double its international climate finance contribution. Decisive and coordinated leadership at home and at the multilateral level is key to address the climate emergency. Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, called on Canada and other G7 countries to increase climate financing and ensure that at least 50 per cent of the total pledge goes towards adaptation. Ahead of the upcoming Leaders Summit on Climate taking place on April 22, the United States is expected to announce an increase in its climate finance commitments.

Now is the time to evaluate financial commitments made to meet the USD 100 billion per year target beginning in 2020. Canada’s total investment, including public and private contributions, should be equivalent to 4 percent of the total 100 billion pledge or USD 4 billion annually. In the budget 2021, the undersigned urge the Government of Canada, as a first step to deliver on its obligations, to increase Canada’s public financial commitment of the USD 100 billion to CAD 1.8 billion per annum. Building a resilient low-carbon transition requires the Government of Canada to assertively pursue health, climate and development agendas simultaneously and without tradeoffs. For this reason, Canada’s international cooperation actors call for long-term, sustainable and predictable increases of official development assistance.

The cost of adaptation is rising, and cost estimates range from USD 140 billion to USD 300 billion by 2030. Current climate finance flows remain far below the necessary funds identified by both the Global Commission on Adaptation and UNEP’s Adaptation Finance Gap Report. Meeting Canada’s fair share also requires a better balance between adaptation and mitigation support, increased grant-based financing and committing to reaching the poorest and most climate-vulnerable, while ensuring that efforts are aligned with Canada’s feminist commitments.

Budget 2021 must reaffirm that future climate finance will be rights-based. Canada’s future package must build resilience and produce benefits that will result in conservation and protection of nature and biodiversity.

In sum, we urge the Government of Canada to assertively tackle this crisis with strong policy coupled with the required financial investment. We stand ready to collaborate with the government to implement these priorities.

- Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D)

Eddy Perez
International Climate Diplomacy Manager, Climate Action Network Canada

Mueni Mutinda
Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac)
The Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D)
Cooperation Canada
Plan International Canada
ONE Canada
Global Citizen
AidWatch Canada
Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Alinea International
WaterAid Canada
World Accord - International Development Agency
British Columbia Council for International Cooperation
Grandmothers Advocacy Network (GRAN)
Centre d’étude et de coopération internationale (CECI)
CARE Canada
ADRA Canada
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
Oxfam Canada
Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada

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