The effects of climate change are real. Extreme weather events, including droughts and floods, are more frequent and getting worse, affecting millions of people around the world. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and thinning sea ice are also threatening vulnerable regions and coastal communities, including the Arctic and Indigenous Peoples that live there.
At the G7 Summit in Charlevoix, leaders agreed that a healthy planet and sustainable economic growth are mutually beneficial, and agreed to work together towards a resilient future that creates jobs for our citizens. Leaders discussed climate change, investing in clean energy, and protecting our oceans and coastal communities.
Protecting our oceans
Canada’s vision is a zero-plastic waste future. It will not be an easy goal to achieve, but the scope of the problem is too significant to ignore. To reduce plastics, we will need to work together – all levels of governments, industry, consumers, civil society, and academics – to advance research and innovation in new technologies and approaches.
As oceans are a shared global resource, Canada is also working with international partners to advance efforts to protect oceans.
G7 leaders endorsed the Charlevoix Blueprint for Health Oceans, Seas, and Resilient Coastal Communities, and will improve oceans knowledge, promote sustainable oceans and fisheries, support resilient coasts and coastal communities, and address ocean plastic waste and marine litter.
Recognizing that plastics pose a significant threat to our oceans, five countries have agreed to the Oceans Plastics Charter with the goal of eradicating plastic pollution. Canada will invest $100 million through a marine litter mitigation fund that will prevent plastic waste from entering the oceans, address plastic waste on shorelines, and better manage existing plastic resources.
Canada is also investing $162 million to build stronger and more resilient coasts and communities. This funding includes $100 million to support the expansion of Climate Risk Insurance coverage in climate-vulnerable countries, including for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Caribbean, and $60 million to support the expansion of their clean energy systems and infrastructure, improve energy access for women and girls in SIDS, and provide training and employment opportunities for women in non-traditional, sustainable technology sectors. Also included in this funding is $2 million to support efforts by developing countries to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Canada is taking action at home to improve the health of the world’s oceans, including through the national $1.5 billion Oceans Protection Plan. We are working in partnership with Indigenous Peoples and coastal communities to protect and support vital aquatic ecosystems, including endangered whale species, and to restore coastal habitats across the country.
Youth from across G7 countries have been invited to bring forward their ideas on how to protect oceans and the environment. The #myoceans2050 and #G7oceans conversations will continue during the G7 environment and energy ministers meetings in Fall 2018, where they will discuss how to work together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy.
Adapting to a changing climate
Canada recognizes the urgent need to address these environmental challenges, and accelerate the transition toward a sustainable, resilient, low carbon future. That is why “Working together on climate change, oceans, and clean energy” is one of the key themes of Canada’s G7 Presidency.
Canada remains committed to working with domestic partners to meet emissions reduction targets, while growing the economy and building resilience against a changing climate through the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. At the G7 Summit, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union reaffirmed their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, an ambitious and balanced agreement to fight climate change.
Building on clean energy innovations
Canada and its G7 partners committed to continued action to strengthen their collective energy security and ensure that energy systems continue to drive sustainable economic growth.
Canada believes that as a global community, we must work harder to support clean energy innovation. These efforts must seek to increase research and development, diversify energy supply and supply routes, generate more energy from renewable sources, invest in resilient energy systems and infrastructure, and find new solutions for the sustainable extraction and use of fossil fuels.
By sharing knowledge and supporting the development of clean energy technologies, we will be able to meet climate goals and create new economic opportunities that work for everyone.
Going forward, G7 countries will continue to drive progress and find solutions that will help build a more sustainable future and leave a cleaner, healthier planet for generations to come.