Over in Bonn, DeSmogger Joanna Dafoe is tracking the Canadian Government Delegation at the first climate meeting since Copenhagen. On the agenda: Climate financing and the new spirit of Canadian leadership.
Canada’s hot ticket to winning this weekend is through ambitious climate finance. Any decision will follow straight from the Copenhagen fast-track climate financing commitment of $30 billion dollars for mitigation and adaptation programs in developing countries.
Canada has not yet announced how much it will contribute to this funding. In a report published by the Pembina Institute, Canada’s fair share would be 3 to 4%, roughly $300 to $400 million dollars per year by the year 2010, presumably in new spending – not in existing development assistance repackaged to fit the letter, but not the spirit, of the climate finance commitment.
In a February 1st speech, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said:
The [Copenhagen] Accord’s attempt to build a sustainable bridge between developed and developing countries [is one reason] why Canada was so willing to agree to contribute our fair share to the $30-billion “quick-start” fund. And this money will assist the poorest and most vulnerable countries with mitigation, adaptation, capacity building, and technology transfer. It is the first step towards establishing a new Green Climate Fund.
In his speech, Minister Prentice articulates the equity principles that underline these negotiations: it is the idea that wealthy countries have a greater capacity than poor countries to finance climate solutions. Minister Prentice’s reference to the equity principle – which is central to the negotiations and to any tenable agreement – gives reason to hope that Canada has the will to do it’s fair share.
Keep Up the Pressure!
The atmosphere here in Bonn could not be more different from Copenhagen. There is a small NGO presence, and only three (3) Canadians.
I do not think that our smaller numbers indicate a loss of interest. If anything, there is a heightened awareness about the UN process coming out of Copenhagen – and communities back home are more focused on solutions. This fits well with the new 350.org motto “get to work.”
If that means collaborating, setting the political base for strong legislation, and creating solutions without even necessarily knowing it, I received two affirming updates in my inbox today.
1.) Canada’s Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-311). On Wednesday April 14th, Parliament will vote on Bill C-311, our most ambitious climate legislation that, if passed, will set national greenhouse gas emission targets for Canada that align with scientific targets for avoiding dangerous climate change. Learn more about the Bill and how to take action.
2.) Renew Canada’s ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes Program. On March 31st, Natural Resources Canada cancelled it’s ecoENERGY Retrofit – Homes Program. Tangible actions like home retrofits are exactly the kind of results driven programs that Canada needs to reduce it’s greenhouse gas emissions. It shows the world that Canadians and the Government take seriously the new climate change motto of “Get to Work.” You can help to bring the ecoENERGY program back by writing your Member of Parliament who you can find here or read a backgrounder on the program.
These talks are important. Big decisions (deal breaker ones) are made at the UNFCCC because it is the only international framework we have. But right now the UNFCCC is not where the leadership is shown; it seems most evident in communities back home. I want to take this moment to thank and recognize all of those people working hard for change, and staying positive. It is evident that people care, and that everyday Canadians are getting to work. Wendell Berry describes the new ethos of Canada’s community-based leadership:
Our tasks “will be too many to count, too many to report, too many to be publicly noticed or rewarded, too small to make anyone rich or famous.”
Working together we will refocus international efforts back on solutions. No more loopholes, no more excuses. Canada, let’s get to work!