VANCOUVER — Merran Smith, executive director of Clean Energy Canada, made the following statement on the release of the proposed final text of the Paris Agreement at COP21:
“We applaud all national leaders and delegates who worked hard over the past two weeks to raise the bar for global climate action. The final text of the Paris agreement urges the world to limit warming to 1.5℃, and aims for net-zero emissions globally by the second half of the century. These elements reflect the increased sense of urgency guiding global climate action, and that’s encouraging.
“Achieving these long-term goals requires an accelerated clean energy transition. The Paris agreement outlines many of the solutions required to achieve that transition, along with five-year cycles to increase global efforts over time. Countries have also been urged to increase their climate targets to fill the gap between the emissions reductions needed and plans currently in place.
“The solution to climate change does not depend solely on the outcome of these global negotiations. Governments, cities and businesses everywhere are gearing up for a wholesale energy-systems transition that includes new investment in renewable energy and low-carbon technology, and putting a price on carbon pollution.
“The Paris climate summit marks an important milestone in the global clean energy transition, but it was never meant to be the finish line. Now the real work begins for Canada’s federal and provincial governments: building a cooperative national climate plan, making good on the promises they made in Paris, and ramping up efforts to cut carbon pollution and invest in clean energy across the country.
“Renewable energy represents a major economic opportunity that is gaining traction around the world. The leadership, innovation and enthusiasm for climate solutions we’ve seen in Paris sends a signal to world markets that the age of fossil fuels is ending and giving way to a more sustainable, resilient and clean economy. Canada will find itself in good company as it aspires to be a leader in the clean energy transition.”