EU co-hosts major international climate meeting with Canada and China

The European Union, Canada and China are joining forces to strengthen global action in the fight against climate change by co-convening a ministerial meeting on climate action on 15-16 September in Montreal, Canada. This gathering, a first of its kind, seeks to further galvanise global momentum for the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Ministerial on Climate Action will bring together ministers and high-level representatives from 34 economies that are part of the G20 and other invited countries. An open dialogue among major developed and developing economies is of the utmost importance to push for convergence and demonstrate resolve at the ministerial level on the commitment to climate action and the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete and Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will jointly lead the roundtable discussion on climate action and clean growth.

Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “The EU remains committed to the Paris Agreement and its full and swift implementation. Domestically, we are progressing steadily with the finalisation of the measures to reduce our emissions by at least 40% by 2030. Internationally, we are strengthening our existing partnerships and seeking new alliances. Our aim is to raise global climate ambition, follow through with concrete action and support our partners, in particular the most vulnerable countries.”

The meeting in Montreal takes place only days after this year’s State of the Union Address by Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker where he underlines that he “wants Europe to be the leader when it comes to the fight against climate change. Set against the collapse of ambition in the United States, Europe will ensure we make our planet great again. It is the shared heritage of all of humanity” (read #SOTEU2017 SPEECH/17/3165).

Taking place two months before the next United Nations climate conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, the meeting will provide the space for discussions on the expected outcomes of upcoming UN climate talks this year and next.

In Bonn, countries will continue to flesh out the work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, for example on issues such as transparency and accountability rules and the 5-year review cycle aimed at helping countries make progressively more ambitious contributions.

The Ministerial on Climate Action also comes at a critical time when European citizens are increasingly worried about climate change and demand further action, a special Eurobarometer survey published today shows.

The meeting in Montreal will be held just before the Climate Week in New York (18-24 September), during which Commissioner Arias Cañete will meet with the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Amina J. Mohammed, the Governor of California Jerry Brown, as well as participate in a meeting of the High Ambition Coalition, a group of developed and developing countries that played a crucial role in shaping the Paris Agreement.

Prior to the Montreal meeting, Commissioner Arias Cañete will also speak at a ministerial event organised by the Government of Canada to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol, the international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer. In 2016, the Parties to the Protocol agreed to also bring climate-warming hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) within its scope.

On 15 February 2017, the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the European Union and Canada. Following the agreement between President Juncker and Prime Minister Trudeau (STATEMENT/17/1959), CETA will be applied provisionally as from 21 September 2017.

The EU and Canada commit in CETA to co-operate in facilitating trade and investment in environmental goods and services. CETA also provides for tariff liberalisation for energy efficient and renewable energy products such as heat pumps, energy efficiency boilers or parts for winds turbines among others. Cutting costs of such goods at the border will help disseminate technologies needed for climate change mitigation, and thus contributes to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.