Environment minister 'cautiously optimistic' about UN climate change conference

·1 min read

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says Canada has two "very heavy weeks" ahead as the government gears up for negotiations at the United Nations COP26 conference.

International officials are set to meet in Scotland starting Sunday as they try to ramp up efforts to curb climate change, with the risk of failure hanging over their heads amid mounting tensions over failed funding promises.

Guilbeault says he is "cautiously optimistic" about how talks will progress, citing a joint report from Canada and Germany this week that they expect rich countries to step up on a pledge to provide developing nations with $100 billion in annual aid to tackle global warming — a decade-old commitment that has so far fallen short.

But he also says "difficult negotiations" lie ahead and that not all states are willing to "do more faster."

At a virtual news conference this morning, Guilbeault characterized the UN conference as part of a "continuum" rather than a hockey game with winners and losers.

The COP26 meetings, delayed one year by COVID-19, are intended to finalize the rule book for the Paris accord, including how carbon emissions trading can work between countries and what each country has to report about progress toward climate goals.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 29, 2021.

The Canadian Press

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting