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e-2395 (Foreign affairs)

Initiated by Shaughn McArthur from Ottawa, Ontario

Original language of petition: English

Petition to the Government of Canada

  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that climate change will increase existing inequalities and vulnerabilities between men and women;
  • Developing countries are already bearing up to 80% of the cost of climate change, including through food insecurity, loss and damage, compromised livelihoods and instability;
  • Without urgent action, climate impacts could push an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030;
  • Developed country parties to the Paris Agreement on Climate Change have agreed to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries deal with the impacts of climate change, and for those resources to be balanced between adaptation and mitigation;
  • Although investments in climate change adaptation are critical to promote gender equality, inclusive economic growth and social stability, and can unlock trillions of dollars in savings, they currently make up less than 20% of international climate finance;
  • Less than 35% of Canada’s international climate finance investments support adaptation projects, and only 0.2% includes gender equality as a principal objective; and
  • The Standing Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in April 2019 called upon the Government of Canada to increase the proportion of its climate finance funding that is dedicated to adaptation measures to 50%.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to commit at least 50% of Canada's public climate finance for developing countries towards adaptation, and at least 15% towards projects that target gender equality as a primary objective.

Response by the Minister of International Development

Signed by (Minister or Parliamentary Secretary): The Honourable Karina Gould

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today, affecting every country, community and individual. Developing countries are the most affected by climate change and its impacts, and least able to afford its consequences. Their vulnerability is due to multiple factors that can limit their ability to prevent and respond to the impacts of climate change, and as a result, climate change has the potential to reverse significant development gains made in these countries.

In developing countries, women and girls are disproportionately affected by the negative impacts of climate change, while at the same time, their experience, knowledge and leadership are essential to addressing these challenges.  Environment and climate action is therefore most effective when women and girls play an active role as powerful agents of change to advance action on climate change, pollution and other environmental concerns.  This inclusive approach helps deliver informed solutions that also mitigate some of the threats to women’s and girls’ health, safety, economic well-being, and social inequalities associated with climate change.

In March 2015, UN member states, including Canada, agreed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Climate Action goal – SDG 13 – calls on the international community to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts. To achieve SDG 13, all countries need to accelerate and intensify their actions and investments on climate change.

In December 2015, the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change adopted the Paris Agreement. In support of the Paris Agreement, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced in 2015 that Canada would provide $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries tackle climate change. Canada is delivering on this climate finance pledge as part of the commitment to supporting the poorest and most vulnerable populations affected by climate change. To date, Canada has announced $2 billion in programming, disbursed more than $1.7 billion to partners, and is on track to meeting the expected results of the $2.65 billion commitment by the end of fiscal year 2020-21.

Canada continues to work closely with other donors towards the joint goal to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020.

Canada’s climate finance is helping developing countries transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies through:

  • initiatives that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in line with developing countries’ needs and plans
  • adaptation action, particularly for the poorest and most vulnerable, including women and girls
  • mobilizing new private sector capital for climate action in developing countries

In 2018, Canada was President of the Group of Seven (G7) and played a leadership role on climate change by placing it high on the G7 agenda and ensuring an inclusive approach that addressed gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. Canada has been particularly active in supporting climate-smart agriculture, and increased access to green energy – both of which are especially important to women and girls.

The Government of Canada recognizes that adaptation measures are essential for developing countries, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable, to enable them to build resilience in the face of a changing climate. Canada’s continued efforts to scale up adaptation measures are in line with the Paris Agreement and Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Adaptation and gender equality will also be key elements of Canada’s future climate finance, on which the government is currently consulting publicly.

The government also recognizes the importance of mitigation investments for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, directly addressing the cause of climate change, and therefore reducing support needed for adaptation in the long-run. Canada continues to invest in initiatives and approaches to help mobilize the private sector investment that is essential for addressing the SDG and Climate Action financing gaps.  By supporting an appropriate balance of adaptation and mitigation investments, the Government of Canada is ensuring that it responds to developing country priorities in line with the Paris Agreement and Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.

Open for signature
January 28, 2020, at 9:20 a.m. (EDT)
Closed for signature
April 27, 2020, at 9:20 a.m. (EDT)
Presented to the House of Commons
Elizabeth May (Saanich—Gulf Islands)
June 8, 2020 (Petition No. 431-00237)
Government response tabled
September 24, 2020
Photo - Elizabeth May
Saanich—Gulf Islands
Green Party Caucus
British Columbia
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