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A Primer on Trudeau’s $2.65 Billion Green Climate Fund Announcement

Earlier today at a meeting of Commonwealth nations in Malta, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that his government would increase its Green Climate Fund commitment to $2.65 billion.

Here's a quick rundown what that actually means.

The Green Climate Fund was set up as part of the United Nations climate negotiation process, with a goal of raising $100 billion from both the public and private sector by 2020. The wealthiest countries at the negotiating table have been under pressure to contribute more money to the Green Climate Fund. 

The idea behind the Green Climate Fund is to overcome a major sticking point in the UN climate treaty process, which is that developing nations are being asked to invest in renewable energy technology and take measures to reduce the impacts of climate change, but do not have nearly the money needed to do so. 

The money raised for the Green Climate Fund will be spent on projects that help developing nations in regions like sub-Saharan Africa adapt to the impacts of climate change, as well as put in place their own greenhouse gas mitigation plans.

Earlier this year, former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced his government would commit $300 million to the Green Climate Fund. This announcement was not met favorably, considering Canada is the 10th wealthiest nation in the world, and that other countries have commitmed much more. The U.S. has pledged $3 billion and Japan, Germany, France and Britain have all pledged over $1 billion to the Green Climate Fund.

With today's announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau, Canada has not only become one of the largest contributors to the Green Climate Fund, but it also will put a lot of pressure on other wealthy nations at the upcoming UN climate summit in Paris, to commit for the first time, or re-up the commitments they have already made. Looking at the pledge tracker maintained by the Green Climate Fund, Trudeau's commitment (in U.S. dollars) puts Canada second only to the United States when it comes to overall amounts committed.

As for Trudeau, he will now be coming into the Paris negotiations on a wave of positive momentum, both domestically and internationally, but will still be put to task over other major issues that Canada is still considered weak on. Three big issues that remain unaddressed are:

1) Canada's overall reduction target and stated year to meet that target,

2) whether Alberta's oilsands will be included in any nation-wide greenhouse gas reduction commitments, and

3) if a cap-and-trade type system is to be implemented, at what "floor price" will taxes on emissions start.

All very big issues, and while it is unrealistic for a government so early in its mandate to commit outright to all these things at the Paris climate summit starting this Monday, observers will be looking for further details on what a final Canadian action plan on climate change might look like.

Image: Flickr

Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?
Like a kid in a candy store
When those boxes of heavily redacted documents start to pile in, reporters at The Narwhal waste no time in looking for kernels of news that matter the most. Just ask our Prairies reporter Drew Anderson, who gleefully scanned through freedom of information files like a kid in a candy store, leading to pretty damning revelations in Alberta. Long story short: the government wasn’t being forthright when it claimed its pause on new renewable energy projects wasn’t political. Just like that, our small team was again leading the charge on a pretty big story

In an oil-rich province like Alberta, that kind of reporting is crucial. But look at our investigative work on TC Energy’s Coastal GasLink pipeline to the west, or our Greenbelt reporting out in Ontario. They all highlight one thing: those with power over our shared natural world don’t want you to know how — or why — they call the shots. And we try to disrupt that.

Our journalism is powered by people just like you. We never take corporate ad dollars, or put this public-interest information behind a paywall. Will you join the pod of Narwhals that make a difference by helping us uncover some of the most important stories of our time?

If Canada wants to be an international biodiversity leader, it has to start at home

Rodrigo Estrada Patiño is program director at Greenpeace Canada. Stephen Hazell is president of Ecovision Law and was executive director of both Sierra Club Canada...

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