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Environment Ministers Discuss Priorities for Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience and Explore Carbon Management

Press Release

July 11, 2024

Federal, provincial, and territorial environment ministers discussed climate change adaptation and resilience, and carbon management at the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) held yesterday.

“Newfoundland and Labrador was pleased to host the 2024 meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment and discuss ways we can collaborate with our federal, provincial, and territorial partners to protect our environment and build sustainable, resilient communities for our future generations. Climate change challenges pose a direct threat to our environment, societies, and economies. It is critical for us to act now, and act together, to address climate change while continuing to grow our economy, keeping in view the unique circumstances of each province and territory,” said Bernard Davis, Newfoundland and Labrador’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change.

Ministers reflected on the impacts of climate change and continued their conversations from past meetings on adaptation and resilience. Ministers shared key challenges and discussed opportunities to work together and with partners to create strong systems and communities that can anticipate, prepare for, and adapt to changing climate conditions. Climate risks such as flooding, erosion and drought merit enhanced collaboration to protect human health and the environment and safeguard the economy. Ministers acknowledged that preparing for and adapting to the impacts of climate change will require cross-sectoral and intergovernmental cooperation.

They discussed CCME work underway to develop indicators that governments may use to assess and measure the effectiveness of their respective climate change adaptation and resilience initiatives. Ministers committed to advancing and collaborating on climate adaptation priorities, while respecting provincial and territorial plans, strategies, and jurisdiction, to promote health and safety for all Canadians and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.  In a separate meeting on July 9, ministers met with leaders from some National Indigenous Organizations and from some Newfoundland and Labrador Indigenous governments and organizations to discuss climate change adaptation and resilience. Indigenous leaders provide valuable insights on their priorities and perspectives, which informed Ministers’ discussions.

Following a separate discussion with a panel of experts from academia, industry and non-government organizations in the field, ministers explored the carbon management landscape in Canada to reduce and remove greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon management technologies and nature-based solutions are important tools for governments to achieve their respective climate goals and will complement other necessary greenhouse gas reduction efforts. Carbon management can also unlock economic opportunities across many different sectors, creating jobs and making the country more competitive. Ministers also discussed the importance of incentivizing investment for non-emitting technologies, such as support for a cleaner electricity grid and carbon management, which will be pivotal to a net-zero future.

Canada can reduce emissions and have a strong economy, balancing carbon management and environmental protection with the need to provide a growing global population with the necessary food, energy, and critical minerals to the highest ethical and sustainable standards in the world. Ministers agreed on the importance of meaningful collaboration across equal orders of governments and sectors to achieve this common future.

Ministers launched an updated website to provide information to Canadians on the progress towards implementing the Canada-wide Strategy on the Management of Municipal Wastewater Effluent. Addressing the largest source of pollution to Canada’s surface waters by volume, the strategy articulates the commitment to protect human health and the environment and provide regulatory clarity in managing municipal wastewater effluent.

Ministers will continue to collaborate through CCME on renewed strategic priorities, which are: managing and preventing pollution of air, water and land; reducing waste and moving towards a circular economy; advancing climate initiatives, including a low-carbon economy; and advancing and collaborating on emerging environmental issues and opportunities.

At the end of the meeting, Northwest Territories assumed the presidency of CCME and will host the 2025 CCME meeting.


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