Canada should surpass its methane reduction targets, Justin Trudeau tells UN

Canada is on track to meet and even exceed targets for reducing methane emissions from oil fields, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Wednesday at the Climate Ambition Summit, a gathering of around 30 countries on the sidelines of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

A draft regulation expected before the end of the year would allow Canada to meet or even exceed its goal of reducing methane from the oil and gas sector by 75% by 2030 compared to 2012 levels, a indicated the Prime Minister.

The UN moderator previously introduced the Prime Minister by clearly recalling that Canada “was one of the countries to have increased the most” its production of fossil fuels last year, a detail that Mr. Trudeau did not recognized only indirectly — and with a hint of domestic politics.

“In 2015, Canada — a major supplier of oil and gas — was far behind on climate action,” he acknowledged, without saying out loud that 2015 was the year his Liberals took the power.

“Through hard work, we managed to change that. In fact, Canada’s emissions are trending downward,” he noted.

The Minister of the Environment, Steven Guilbeault, also allowed himself a hint of partisan politics.

Canada was only invited to participate in the UN summit because of the efforts it has made so far to take its climate obligations seriously, Mr. Guilbeault emphasized.

“I think if you asked the question: ‘Would Canada have been invited here 10 years ago under the Stephen Harper government,’ the answer is obviously no,” he quipped.

“Pierre Poilievre does not believe — and the Conservative Party of Canada does not believe him — that climate change is an issue worth paying attention to,” continued the minister, for whom progress on methane is particularly important. remarkable.

“It is a very potent greenhouse gas, but if we can work collectively to reduce methane emissions, we can reduce temperature rise by almost 1°C in the decades to come. It’s huge,” he noted, adding that his government is ensuring that the “energy transition takes place in a way that is fair and equitable for workers.”

Mr. Trudeau also said at the summit that Canada would allocate an additional $700 million to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, a fund intended to help developing countries deal with climate change.

A roadmap that is difficult to achieve

The Prime Minister will also participate in high-level meetings on creating new financial models to help developing countries find sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.

These goals, established in 2015 as the UN road map to a safe, equitable and peaceful world, include lofty ambitions such as ending poverty and hunger, ensuring clean water and ending some inequalities.

The theme of this year’s assembly is “Rebuilding Trust and Reviving Global Solidarity” – two elements that even António Guterres acknowledged on Tuesday are hard to come by these days.

Progress has largely stalled, hampered by political intransigence, sluggish post-pandemic economies and escalating conflicts in Ukraine and the developing world.

“Our world is becoming unbalanced,” declared the UN Secretary-General during his opening speech. Geopolitical tensions are increasing. Global challenges are multiplying. And we seem unable to come together to answer it. »

Mr. Trudeau gently urged leaders to take seriously achieving these goals.

“This is not a wish list generated by academics and the global wealthy. These are the building blocks of success in each of our countries and in each of our communities, he said. [Mais ces objectifs] will become harder and more expensive [à atteindre] as we drag our feet. »

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