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Background: Canada’s climate finance commitments

Global context and Canada’s 2015 contribution

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity today. It affects every country, and is already having devastating impacts on people, ecosystems and economies. In 2015, Canada and 194 other countries adopted the Paris Agreement, with the objective to strengthen the global response to climate change. The Paris Agreement includes a commitment for developed countries to lead on mobilizing climate finance for developing countries. It also affirms the collective commitment of developed countries to jointly mobilize US$100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020 from various sources, including public and private.

In support of this commitment, Canada is delivering $2.65 billion over five years to help developing countries transition to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. The objectives of this funding include significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, supporting adaptation actions, and mobilizing new private sector capital for global climate action. Canada’s climate finance supports solutions such as clean technology and renewable energy, climate smart agriculture, watershed management, and climate resilience activities. Canada’s international climate finance website provides further details on our approach and initiatives supported to date.

Canada’s climate finance commitment reflects the understanding that developing countries, and the most vulnerable people in those countries, are the most impacted by climate change and are least able to cope with the consequences. This is particularly the case for women and girls. Climate change has the potential to significantly reverse development gains, and stop the world from achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Canada’s international climate finance is part of the International Assistance Envelope and is consistent with its Feminist International Assistance Policy’s (the Policy) focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment. The Policy specifically identifies Environment and Climate Action as one of the key action areas that Canada will address. Through both the Policy, and its programming, Canada recognizes that women and girls are disproportionately affected by climate change. Through the Policy, Canada committed to:

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act governs Canada’s international assistance. The Act ensures that all Canadian official development assistance is focused on reducing poverty and is consistent with aid effectiveness principles and Canadian values. This means that programming must contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards.

Current climate action environment

The COVID-19 global pandemic has already had an impact on the current climate action environment, including the postponement of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change 26th Conference of Parties (COP26). The pandemic could also influence future climate spending for years to come. There is a growing consensus on the need to ‘build back better’.

The recovery from the pandemic is likely to be a slow and difficult process for most countries, and in particular, for low-income, developing countries. As we confront this crisis globally and domestically, a growing list of actors are recognizing that the pandemic and environmental crises must be addressed simultaneously, and responses to one crisis could create greater resilience for communities seeking to adapt to the other.

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