MONTREAL: Canada’s environment minister urged governments to move forward on the Paris climate accord on Friday, speaking on the eve of talks over the agreement’s implementation.
“We have no choice folks, our kids depend on us,” Catherine McKenna said in Montreal, where representatives from more than half of G20 members will attend a summit on the global climate pact.
Saturday’s meeting was requested by Canada, China and the European Union — who all reaffirmed their commitment to the agreement when Donald Trump announced the United States’ withdrawal in June.
Nearly 200 countries agreed in Paris at the end of 2015 to limit or reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
Their aim is to limit the rise in average global temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (34.7 degrees Fahrenheit) by 2050, compared to preindustrial levels.
The Canadian minister also celebrated 30 years of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, alongside the EU’s top climate official Miguel Arias Canete and China’s representative on climate change Xie Zhenhua.
“[The] Montreal Protocol is a success story of governments, experts, NGOs and ordinary people who acted together to overcome the greatest environmental threats in recent history,” McKenna said.
“We have an opportunity to accomplish even more with the Paris agreement. If we keep working together we can achieve great success in the fight again climate change.”
An amendment was added to the Montreal Protocol last year by the Kigali Agreement to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, an extremely harmful gas used in refrigerators and air conditioners.
“Through the reduction of hydrofluorocarbons under the Montreal Protocol, the Earth can avoid warming by up to half a degree Celsius by the end of the century, while we continue to protect the ozone layer,” McKenna said.