Equilibrium & Sustainability

Trudeau calls upon world leaders to make polluters pay

Associated Press/Alastair Grant

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called upon countries to establish “a shared minimum standard for pricing pollution” during his national statement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday. 

Canada’s carbon price trajectory, according to Trudeau, is “one of the most globally ambitious” and will be climbing to $170 per tonne in 2030 — a change that he said is “designed not just to make life cleaner, but also make life more affordable and less expensive for Canadians.” Pollution pricing, he explained, helps drive down emissions while catalyzing innovation.

“I call on other countries to do the same,” Trudeau said. “Just as globally we’ve agreed to a minimum corporate tax, we must work together to ensure it is no longer free to pollute anywhere in the world.”

Also critical to Canada’s greenhouse gas reductions plan is a cap on oil and gas emissions — to ensure that pollution doesn’t happen to begin with, according to Trudeau.

“We’ll cap oil and gas sector emissions today and ensure they decrease tomorrow at a pace and scale needed to reach net zero by 2050,” he said. “That’s no small task for a major oil and gas producing country.”

Trudeau was speaking in the shadow of a tragic summer, in which a historic burn tore down a western Canadian town just as the region was reeling from its hottest temperatures ever recorded.

“In Canada, there was a town called Lytton,” Trudeau said, mourning a place that now no longer exists.

Canada, the prime minister explained, is warming twice as quickly on average as the rest of the world, while the country’s north is warming three times quicker. Science, he said, demands that “we must do more, and faster.”

“What happened in Litton can and has and will happen anywhere,” he added. “How many more signs do we need? This is our time to step up. And step up together.”

Trudeau called upon all nations to come together and cooperate as they have during the coronavirus pandemic, and act with the same sense of urgency toward the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

“Over the next two weeks, we must demonstrate how we’ll deliver on the promise of Paris with transparency and accountability to the world’s most vulnerable who need us to act to Indigenous people who can show us the way,” Trudeau said. “To young people marching in our streets in cities around the world — we hear you. It’s true. Your leaders need to do better.”

Tags COP26 Glasgow Justin Trudeau

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