Environment minister looking for 'ambitious' deal at climate summit
Christina Commisso, CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, November 13, 2015 10:59AM EST
Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna is looking to return from the Paris climate conference with an "ambitious" agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"We're going to be playing our role to ensure that we get an ambitious agreement, I see that as my responsibility," McKenna told reporters in Ottawa on Friday following a meeting with Mayor Jim Watson.
She said the emission targets set by Canada must also be realistic, and she plans on working with provinces and businesses to reach those targets.
"It's not just about having a target, it's about doing things that are going to tackle emissions and make sure we have a low-carbon economy going forward," McKenna said.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday that he has invited Canada's premiers to a meeting in Ottawa ahead of the conference to discuss what message Canada will deliver at the conference.
COP21 is the first major UN-sponsored climate change conference since the 2009 Copenhagen Accord, where Canada committed to reducing emissions 17 per cent by 2020 -- a target experts agree the country will not meet.
McKenna said the "hard work" will begin after the conference, when the government will work out what actions can be taken to meet those goals.
McKenna said she will work with the provinces to put a price on carbon and noted that green infrastructure investment will be a priority for the government.
She added that businesses and individuals must also play a part in reducing emissions.
"The most important thing is that everyone recognizes that they need to do their part," she said. "(Countries) will have their targets, and improve on their targets and there will be transparency and monitoring."