Alberta Paris Agreement

The Premier of Alberta has a long list of items on the agenda, but his provincial and territorial colleagues will be asked to specifically adopt a specific provision of the international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions – the 2015 Paris Agreement. In her former role as Minister of the Environment, Catherine McKenna played an important role in the international discussions that led to the creation of this provision. Recent public comments from the federal Cabinet appear to bring Ottawa and Edmonton into compliance with section 6. Kenney`s office says it raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland when they met in recent days, and she has been receptive. Canada helped advance this position by joining a negotiating bloc called The High Ambition Coalition, comprised of the Marshall Islands, the European Union, the United States, Brazil, Australia and dozens of countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and the Pacific, to support the position that global temperature increase should be maintained at 1.5°C. The Paris celebrations are now over and it is time for Canada to face the hard work of implementing the Paris Agreement. For my part, I hope that my children can remember this day as the beginning of Canada`s ambitious efforts to make this historic international agreement a reality. For many, a serious shortcoming of the Paris Agreement is that it has not been possible to create legally binding reduction commitments or to include sanctions or sanctions for non-compliance with the legally binding parts of the agreement. On the contrary, an “expert-based and facilitating” committee will be established under the agreement to “facilitate implementation and promote compliance in a transparent, non-adversarial and non-punitive manner” (Article 15). Through transparency mechanisms to report infringements, any breach of the obligations arising from the agreement leaves the parties open to the political stock of designation and employment. If, in the past, this was not a deterrent for large emitters like Canada and the United States, the “historic” gains of the Paris Agreement may have changed that.