Climate Change Ice

Writing in The Hill, Amanda Rodewald says COP21 is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss to ensure a more secure and sustainable future for all  

UN Conference is Opportunity to Renew Climate Change partnership with Canada

November 23, 2015

Climate Change Ice

Writing in The Hill, Amanda Rodewald says COP21 is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss to ensure a more secure and sustainable future for all 

With the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris fast approaching, speculations about its outcomes continue to grow. One key question that looms large is: Can we count on North America — the U.S. and Canada, specifically — to step up and be an earnest partner this time?

Earlier this month, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said that he intended to launch negotiations with the United States and Mexico on a continental energy and climate accord while in Paris. It's a promising sign. The global community has long called on the U.S. and Canada to stop stalling and make real, binding commitments to reduce emissions. North America is the second largest carbon-dioxide emitting region of the world, trailing only China. The U.S. and Canada also rank among the top countries globally for per capita carbon dioxide emissions.

Unlike our neighbor Mexico, which ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 1993, neither the U.S. nor Canada has agreed to its emission reduction targets or been especially ambitious with emission reduction plans. While there have been progressive moves by British Columbia to implement a revenue-neutral carbon tax and efforts by Ontario and Québec to phase out coal-powered electricity, emissions in Canada continue to rise with extraction and production of oil sands . . . Read more