On December 21, 2016, Canada formally delivered its documentation to re-accede to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
“The UNCCD is an inclusive body that brings together many diverse voices to tackle complex global issues. In re-acceding to the convention, Canada is taking concrete action to work with multilateral partners on these important challenges,” said Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations.
“The link between land degradation and climate change is undeniable. Canada is committed to working with its partners to improve the resilience of developing countries to climate change and environmental degradation, which disproportionately affects women and girls,” Global Affairs Canada’s official statement read. Canada will work closely with multilateral partners to address poverty, fight inequality and promote sustainable land and resource management.”
In an Q & A session with students at the University of Havana on November 16, 2016 Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, explained why Canada is taking a leading role on the world stage and allocated $2.6 billion to reverse the effects of the climate change.
The following is Trudeau’s answer to a question on climate change and poverty:
“Those are two very very important issues to Cubans I know but they’re also very important issues to Canada and to Canadians.
“Climate change and poverty which are two issues that are all too often linked in around the world.
“There are many many vulnerable populations, particularly in small island states, whether it’s in the South Pacific or elsewhere that have existential challenges because of climate change and the potential of rising sea levels.
“But we know that the extreme weather events that come with climate change are going to be hitting disproportionately the most vulnerable people in the world.
“And that’s why it’s a moral imperative for countries that are responsible for contributing over the past decades to climate change to show leadership not just at home, but indeed around the world which is why as part of the signing of the Paris Agreement Canada stepped up towards 2.6 billion dollars of investments around the world to help invest in renewable energies, to reduce emissions, because quite frankly the atmosphere doesn’t care where pollution is emitted, it has an impact on all of us and Canada has a role to play.
“At the same time, we recognize that the crisis that is climate change also represents an opportunity. An opportunity to transform our economies to get in a transition away from fossil fuel dependencies towards more renewable energies, to create good clean jobs, to create an economy that’s innovative and least wasteful and to generate solutions that are going to work not just for Canada, but indeed to share with the entire world.
“That’s why part of Canada’s commitments around climate change is bringing in a price on carbon pollution. It’s very simple. We think it should cost more to pollute then it does to not pollute. We want to encourage big emitters to be motivated to try and find ways not to emit carbon pollution to the same degree they do, and a national price on carbon is going to be an effective tool for doing that.
“We’re doing it in a way that respects the different jurisdictions across the country and allows different provinces that have different challenges and opportunities to do it their way, because for me cooperation and collaboration is central to that, but there is no question that Canada needs to make sure that we are creating a better world for our kids and grandkids and that means taking real action on climate change and making sure that there are good clean jobs for future generations.”
To watch the video click HERE.
In a joint statement on World Day to Combat Desertification (June 17, 2016), Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, reiterated Canada’s commitment “to implement the 2030 Agenda and its ambitious objective to eradicate poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and tackle climate change.”
Dion and Bibeau mentioned that Canada has contributed more than $216 million to the most recent Global Environment Facility replenishment, the main funding channel of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) making Canada the sixth-largest donor.
“Canada is committed to improving the resilience of developing countries to climate change, which disproportionately affects women and girls,” both ministers said.
Stéphane Dion strongly believes that climate change, which tops the priority list of the federal government, has a significant negative affect on gender equality and the human rights of women and girls.
The following are excerpts of Dion’s speech at the Human Rights Council here in Geneva, Switzerland on March 1, 2016:
“Climate change is not just a challenge… It is also an opportunity to bring about a more inclusive society.
“Climate change affects the most vulnerable. Its negative impacts are borne disproportionately by women who are often already in difficult situations in their societies.
“Their limited access to decision-making power and physical, social, political and fiscal resources in many parts of the world results in an increased burden on them.
“For example, women and girls are the main producers of the world’s staple crops. But they face many types of discrimination, such as unequal access to land, credit and information.
“Women and girls also face an increase in water stress. As those who are primarily responsible for water collection, they spend more time collecting water and walking even further, which reduces the time available for education and income-building activities…
“National plans, policies and initiatives on climate change must be gender responsive and inclusive. We must apply gender analysis to ensure the specific needs, priorities and interests of women and girls are identified and addressed.
“The Paris Agreement embraced this approach in a new way. In the preamble, it calls on parties to respect and promote human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls when taking action to address climate change.”