Today, the European Commission’s Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans, the Canadian Minister for Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson and China’s Minister for Ecology and Environment Huang Runqiu co-chaired the 4th session of the Ministerial on Climate Action (MoCA). This year’s meeting took place in a virtual format. Against the backdrop of the Coronavirus pandemic, the meeting focused on aligning global recovery measures with the Paris Agreement, and improving resilience against future crises. Participants included Ministers from G20 countries and other key parties in the UN climate negotiations.
Executive Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: “The planet cannot wait for us to take action on climate change. We have been forced by COVID19 to postpone COP26, but we are working with all of our international partners to share ideas and experience on restructuring and cleaning up our economies. The €750 billion Recovery Package proposed by the European Commission has the green transition at its heart, including in our support for recovery in partner countries, and I was pleased to present this to my colleagues from around the world today. Without a green recovery we would come out of the COVID crisis only to find out we’ve sleepwalked into a climate crisis.”
As countries around the world fight to tackle the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, they also face a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reboot their economies and build more sustainable, inclusive and resilient societies. The investment choices we make today in our recovery plans must address the well-being of this and future generations, through transformational climate action and a greening of our economies.
The MoCA is an important forum for coordinating action, and sends a clear political signal that the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will go hand in hand with the transition to low-carbon and climate resilient economies in many of the world’s major economies. The co-chairs acknowledged today that societies around the world have been affected differently by the pandemic and are at different stages in planning for the recovery. They noted that their efforts will yield the best possible results if they work together, share experiences and coordinate their action at national level and global levels. A Chairs’ Statement will be made available shortly, and published online here.
In May 2017, following the announcement of the newly elected US administration to leave the Paris Agreement, the EU, Canada and China convened a Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action (MoCA), to demonstrate their continuous support to the Paris Agreement. Since then, the yearly Ministerial Meetings on Climate Action have focused on the implementation of the Paris Agreement through the promotion of ambitious climate action as well as the successful adoption of the technical rules under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Climate change is a global challenge that requires a decisive and confident response from all major economies, which account for some 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The 2020 meeting had three new principals as co-conveners. This new cycle creates the space and the opportunity to build and strengthen the relationship between key players for international climate action.
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