UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, greet Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, at COP26 World Leaders Summit at COP26 World Leaders Summit of the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference at the SEC, Glasgow. While other leaders of major nations like Germany and the US were met by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trudeau was not. Photograph: Karwai Tang/ UK Government


GLASGOW – On Nov. 1, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the United Nations Climate Change Conference UK 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.

In his five-minute speech, he promised to cap oil and gas emissions today, and then bring them down to net zero by 2050. He also said Canada’s goal was to sell only zero-emissions vehicles by 2035, and that it would establish the electrical distribution system to support that by that year.

In the speech, Trudeau never referred to “carbon dioxide” or “CO2” at all. He made one reference to “carbon pricing, but four references to “pollution,” reinforcing his common refrain that carbon dioxide is, indeed, pollution.

Here is the transcript of Trudeau’s speech, in its entirety:

In Canada, there was a town called Lytton.

I say was, because on June 30, it burned to the ground. The day before the temperature to hit 49.6 degrees Celsius, the hottest ever recorded in our country.

Canada is warming on average, twice as quickly as the rest of the world. And in our North, it’s three times. The science is clear. We must do more, and faster.

So that’s the pledge, and the call, I bring to this historic meeting. We’ve already laid the groundwork. In 2015, in the COP in Paris, I committed that Canada would put a price on pollution. We did that. And despite stiff political opposition, the Supreme Court upheld it, and Canadians supported it in our last two elections.

We know pollution pricing is key to getting emissions down while getting innovation up and running. Our carbon price trajectory is one of the most globally ambitious ones. And it’s rising to $170 a tonne in 2030. This is a meaningful price on pollution, designed not just to make life cleaner, but also lead make life more affordable, and less expensive for Canadians.

I call another country’s to do the same. Just as globally, we’ve agreed to a minimum corporate tax, we must work together to ensure it is no longer free to pollute anywhere in the world. That means establishing a shared minimum standard for pricing pollution.

Of course, what’s even better than pricing emissions, is ensuring that they don’t happen in the first place. Which brings me to my next major commitment: we’ll cap oil and gas sector emissions today, and ensure they decrease tomorrow, at a pace and scale needed to reach net zero by 2050. That’s no small task for a major oil and gas producing country. It’s a big step, that’s absolutely necessary.

To do our part, globally, we’ve doubled our climate financing including up to a billion dollars so the transition away from coal. And to help deal with the consequences of climate change, Canada’s making our first contribution to the adaptation fund.

(Translation from French)

We must find the right solutions for our citizens in their everyday lives. And that is why Canada has set the goal of selling only zero-emissions vehicles and establishing the electrical distribution network for zero net emissions by 2035.

As Alok Sharma recently said, ‘Paris made promises. Glasgow must deliver on them.’

The threat of climate change knows no borders. And that is why we must work together to achieve tangible results. We must all cooperated, as we did to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. We must act with the same urgency against the climate crisis and biodiversity loss.

(In English)

Over the next two weeks, we must demonstrate how we’ll deliver on the promise of Paris, with transparency and accountability.

To the world’s most vulnerable, who need us to act. To Indigenous people, who can show us the way. To young people, marching in our streets and cities around the world – we hear you. It’s true. Your leaders need to do better. That’s why we’re here today.

What happened in Lytton can, and has, and will happen anywhere. How many more signs do we need?

This is our time to step up, and step up together.


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