Canada takes big step forward in climate change action with signing of Paris Agreement (22/04/2016)
On behalf of its 2,000 member municipalities from coast to coast to coast, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) today congratulated the federal government for signing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. FCM led a delegation of municipal leaders to COP21 in Paris and worked closely with the government of Canada, as part of the official delegation. This strong and sustained partnership which is crucial to fighting climate change extends beyond the Paris meetings. FCM and its member municipalities are working with federal partners to implement the objectives of the Agreement and achieve these new commitments.
"We are excited to see Canada sign the Agreement so quickly after the COP21 meetings in Paris," said FCM President Raymond Louie. "This is a clear sign to Canadians and to the international community that we are ready to tackle this challenge. As the order of government on the front lines of the fight against climate change, municipalities are leading the way. "
FCM has mobilized the municipal sector on climate change since 1994 through the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) program. PCP is a joint initiative between FCM and ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability that represents almost 300 Canadian municipalities that have committed to taking action on climate change. Through local initiatives and through FCM's Green Municipal Fund, municipalities have been leading the way by adopting innovative green technologies, building and retrofitting energy efficient and zero-emission public buildings, and integrating electric vehicles into municipal and public transit fleets. To further this work, the federal government announced in Budget 2016 an investment of $125 million to the Green Municipal Fund.
The Government of Canada announced in February 2016 that it would invest $75 million to support the development of resilient and low-carbon cities and communities. FCM welcomes this targeted investment in municipalities and looks forward to delivering this new program. Local governments have direct or indirect influence over close to 50 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and many communities are already working to lower GHG emissions through a combination of climate change mitigation and adaptation measures.
Fighting climate change is critical to the quality of life of all Canadians. As the order of government providing the most direct services to residents, cities and communities will continue to be the drivers of a move towards a greener society and economy. Municipal governments are delivering local solutions that contribute to national results, including better public transit, cleaner more efficient energy production, more electric vehicles, and better waste management. The federal government, in Budget 2016, announced significant investments for public transit and water infrastructure and we will work with the government as it plans phase 2 of this funding.
FCM looks forward to working closely with the Government of Canada to develop and implement a coordinated approach to climate change that meets Canada's international commitments.
FCM is the national voice of municipal government. In leading the municipal movement, FCM works to align federal and local priorities, recognizing that strong hometowns make for a strong Canada.