When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the Paris climate agreement in 2016, he pledged that Canada would cut its emissions by 30% from 2005 levels by 2030. Canada would also help developing countries fight climate change and the government would develop a climate strategy with the provinces, while also looking at a North American plan.
But our North American neighbour decided to withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement on Thursday. While it remains to be seen how that might truly affect Trudeau’s plans, the prime minister has already responded to Trump's decision.
"We are deeply disappointed that the United States federal government has decided to withdraw from the Paris agreement. Canada is unwavering in our commitment to fight climate change and support clean economic growth. Canadians know we need to take decisive and collective action to tackle the many harsh realities of our changing climate."
Trump’s decision to back out of the agreement was widely unpopular and immediately criticized by world leaders like former president Barack Obama, president Emmanuel Macron, and Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Paris agreement, which came into effect in November 2016, was created to adapt to climate change with the goal of reducing emissions. According to Trump, who has called global warming “mythical,” the agreement disadvantages the United States, “leaving American workers — who I love — and taxpayers to absorb the cost in terms of lost jobs, lower wages, shuttered factories, and vastly diminished economic production.”
Let's continue to destroy the competitiveness of our factories & manufacturing so we can fight mythical global warming. China is so happy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 1, 2012
But Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told the Canadian Press, "Many times I've made the argument that climate action actually creates jobs and creates growth, which is what the United States want, what Canada wants — it's what every country wants.”
Trudeau and Trump spoke on Thursday after the president’s announcement, according to a statement released by the prime minister’s office. Trudeau expressed his disappointment but he says the growing momentum to combat climate change is inspiring, “We are proud that Canada stands united with all the other parties that support the Agreement. We will continue to work with our domestic and international partners to drive progress on one of the greatest challenges we face as a world,” he said in the statement.
When Trudeau signed the agreement, he also committed to investing $2.65 billion over the next five years to help developing countries fight climate change.
The former Conservative government committed $1.2 billion to the fund over five years after the 2009 Copenhagen climate summit.
"We're not making these investments simply to be nice, although I know Canada does have a reputation to uphold in that department," he had joked, "We're making these investments and we're following through on our commitments because it's the right thing to do."
Today, just over a year later, Trudeau says that Canada will continue to work with the U.S. and its stakeholders to address climate change and promote clean growth, even though Trump has withdrawn from the agreement.