Canada, China, EU joint climate diplomacy emerges as US confirms exit from Paris deal

The governments of Canada, China, and the European Union on Saturday (Sept. 16)  convened a Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action  “to advance discussions on the full implementation of the Paris Agreement and to demonstrate continued political commitment to global action”.

The meeting was held in Montreal, Canada, and provided governments’ environmental ministers a chance to discuss the course of the Paris Agreement implementation progress before the COP23 gathering in Bonn in November.

According to Canadian government’s official release, representatives from 34 governments of major economies and other key players on climate change attended the meeting Montreal. Ambassador Nazhat Shameem Khan of Fiji facilitated the meeting with representatives from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, EU, Fiji, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and the United States.

The United States delegates re-confirmed that the country will withdraw from the Paris Agreement but is open to re-engaging on terms more favourable to it, clearing the doubts arisen from some media buzz about a US change in its position on withdrawing from the deal. Reuters reported a statement by White House spokeswoman Lindsay Walters, saying that “There has been no change in the United States’ position on the Paris agreement”. “As the President has made abundantly clear, the United States is withdrawing unless we can re-enter on terms that are more favorable to our country.”

In Montreal, many representatives expressed that the Paris Agreement is irreversible and all stated that it will not be renegotiated. Moreover, many participants acknowledged their political commitment to complete the Paris Work Programme in 2018.

Canada, China and the European Union plan to co-convene a second meeting in 2018 in Europe.


(Image: Xie Zhenhua, China’s senior climate negotiator, Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Environment & Climate Change, and Miguel Arias Canete, European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy. Photo credit: Miguel Arias Cañete’s Twitter: @MAC_europa)