Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time. Canadians want to do their share to reduce pollution at home and support solutions abroad. That is why the Government of Canada is taking action to fight climate change and invest in clean economic growth.
While at the Ministerial on Climate Action, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced new funding from the Government of Canada for international climate action and progress on global efforts to phase out coal power.
Developing countries are disproportionately affected by climate change, with women and girls often most impacted. Minister McKenna, on behalf of the Minister of International Development and Minister for Women and Gender Equality, Maryam Monsef, announced that Canada will contribute $223.5 million to the Canadian Climate Fund for the Private Sector in the Americas (C2F) project. In partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank and IDB Invest, this initiative is the second phase of the C2F project and will help countries in the Americas and the Caribbean region adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
C2F is expected to leverage up to US$1 billion in private-sector investments for renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and forestry to help the most vulnerable in the region, especially women and girls, adapt to climate change. It is also expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 million tonnes. This initiative supports the collective climate finance goal of donor countries to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2020 from a variety of public and private financial sources to help achieve the shared goals of the Paris Agreement.
Additionally, Canada and the United Kingdom, co-chairs of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, announced they will be combining efforts to establish an independent secretariat, which will allow the Alliance to continue solidifying and expanding its work to phase out coal power. For its part, Canada will invest up to $600,000 over two years to support the secretariat’s work.
Coal-fired electricity is one the world’s worst sources of carbon pollution. In Canada, it produces only 9 percent of our electricity but 72 percent of the sector’s emissions. It’s also a source of dangerous air pollution, which can cause asthma and other respiratory distress. Since the launch of the Powering Past Coal Alliance, in 2017, dozens of countries and organizations have joined the global transition away from coal and toward clean energy sources.
“Climate change is already hitting close to home for many Canadians. Our country is warming at twice the global rate, and devastating floods, forest fires, and heatwaves are threatening our communities. We are committed to fighting climate change and investing in clean growth at home while supporting ambitious action to reduce pollution and build climate-resilient economies abroad. We are also proud to be working with leading countries through the Powering Past Coal Alliance to invest in cleaner air and implement climate solutions. There can be no doubt now that the transition to clean energy is gaining momentum as well as creating good jobs and new economic opportunities around the world. The progress we make today will ensure a healthier and more prosperous future for our children and grandchildren.”
– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change
“The IDB Group and Canada have a solid track record of climate action. C2F has abated more than 740,000 tonnes of CO2 annually through 24 projects and prioritized the empowerment of women and girls in the region. With C2F Phase II, we will continue to catalyze private capital toward low-carbon and climate-resilient investments with a gender-inclusive perspective.”
– James P. Scriven, Chief Executive Officer, IDB Invest
- In 2012, Canada provided $250 million to the Inter-American Development Bank to establish the C2F to address climate change in Latin America and the Caribbean.
- Emphasis was placed in the first phase of C2F to pilot climate adaptation and mitigation projects that promoted gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. For example, C2F invested in internship programs at partner organizations for women undergraduates in science, technology, math, and engineering fields.
- The second phase of the C2F project will continue to build on the innovative approaches piloted in the first phase, including the commitment to invest 40 percent of the funds for projects that support gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
- Funding for this initiative is part of Canada’s $2.65 billion commitment, announced in 2015 by the Prime Minister, to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, sustainable, and resilient economies.
- The Powering Past Coal Alliance is a voluntary alliance of governments, businesses, and other organizations committed to leading global efforts to end the use of unabated coal power.
- For the secretariat, Third Generation Environmentalism in the United Kingdom and the Alberta-based Pembina Institute will provide core administrative and managerial support to advance the work of the Alliance, including communications management, administration, and management of operational activities and events, external partnerships and relations with members, and research and engagement.
- In addition to its contribution to climate change, burning coal for power creates significant health and environmental risks, including smog, asthma, respiratory diseases, premature deaths, and massive health care and economic costs due to lost worker productivity.