The word from climate activists out of the just-concluded August 2019 G7 Summit in Biarritz, France is that Canada is not doing enough, but then nobody else is either.
Coming out of the Summit, the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development and the Climate Action Network Canada, coalitions that represent more than 125 leading Canadian NGOs, welcomed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s announcement of CAD$300 million to the replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries reduce carbon emissions. G7 leaders committed to a fund replenishment of US$5.5 billion, and Canada is the first G7 country to act on it.
But the two environmental groups say the commitment reflects a low ambition from Canada, and urges the country to announce that the funding will be in the form of grants, not loans.
That criticism followed another, originally mis-attributed to the global organization Climate Action Network, that called out Canada for setting too modest a 2030 emission reduction target (30% below 2005 levels), for not aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050, and for promoting its oil and gas industry.
The critique was actually part of a report card prepared by Réseau Action Climat, France’s arm of the global Climate Action Network, on the performance of G7 countries, all of which were found wanting.
The media reports earned a gentle rebuke on Twitter from Catherine Abreu, executive director of Climate Action Network Canada.
“Canada’s is NOT the worst climate plan in the G7,” she wrote in an August 27, 2019 Tweet. “ALL the G7 countries’ #climate plans are completely inadequate, particularly in light of the fact that they’re the world’s richest countries with the greatest capacity to act.” The current government has done more to plan and implement climate action than any of its predecessors, she wrote, despite buying a pipeline.
But that does not absolve the current government, or whatever government succeeds it in October 2019, from doing more.
“While some important groundwork has now been laid, our level of ambition on climate action is still completely inadequate, like all the other G7 nations,” she concluded.