Letter to GAC

OTTAWA, December 18, 2015

The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
Global Affairs Canada
125 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON K1A 0G2

RE: Canada’s Commitment to Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation

Dear Minister Bibeau,

On behalf of the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D), we are writing to extend our sincere congratulations on your recent appointment as Minister of International Development and La Francophonie. As representatives of Canada’s leading international development and environmental organizations, C4D is committed to reducing the impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable individuals, communities, and countries.

We welcome the government’s commitments to prioritize climate change adaptation and mitigation, including Canada’s $2.65 billion commitment to support developing countries, made in advance of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21). We also acknowledge the positive role Canada played in reaching a balanced and ambitious global agreement to address climate change, including the government’s adoption of the Paris Agreement. As noted by Prime Minister Trudeau, “many of the world’s most vulnerable countries have done little to contribute to the problem [of climate change], but face the most significant consequences.” Now more than ever, we must treat poverty reduction and climate change adaptation as critical to achieving global sustainable development for all. We look forward to working with the government to see that Canada’s initial investment focusses on achieving those goals, as well as discussing the source of the $2.65 billion funding announcement in relation to the existing international assistance envelope. We must also work together to see that the Paris Agreement is implemented in a manner that matches its high level of ambition.

C4D’s collective experience affirms that the world’s poorest and most vulnerable are experiencing the greatest hardships due to climate change. For decades, C4D members have been working with partners from around the world to deliver climate change adaptation and mitigation programs. This work assists in the response to impacts such as: climate-related droughts and floods; crop failure, food insecurity and malnutrition; conflicts exacerbated by resource scarcity; and climate related diseases such as malaria and diarrhea. While the challenges are great, our work continues to yield results that save lives and builds resilience to climate change at the individual, community, and regional level.

We are encouraged by the government’s openness to consultation and its commitment to gather best practices and evidence from Canadian civil society and climate scientists. In the same way that the government has committed to meeting with provincial, territorial, municipal and indigenous leaders to coordinate a robust climate change plan here in Canada, the government should also consult on how to best support developing countries to address the impacts of climate change.

As a first step, we encourage the government to work closely with Canadian experts from the environmental, agriculture, and international development sectors to set a way forward for both climate adaptation and mitigation abroad. We also encourage the government to work with developing countries and vulnerable communities most impacted by climate change as part of Canada’s ongoing policy and programmatic efforts. In order to meet our ambitions to help developing countries fight climate change, any plans will require all donors, including Canada, to focus their technical and financial support on the most vulnerable – including smallholder farmers, women, and children. These groups must be involved when determining how and where resources are invested.

Guided by the new Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, Canada can be a leader by supporting global efforts to address the worst consequences of climate change, such as poverty, food insecurity, and poor health. We would welcome the opportunity to meet with you and your staff to discuss the linkages between climate change and global sustainable development. We shall be in touch with your office to arrange a meeting at your convenience.

Thank you for your consideration. We look forward to working with you on what promises to be an exciting leadership moment for Canada in the world.

Yours sincerely,

Sohel Khan
C4D Co-Chair
Canadian Feed The Children
[email protected]

Pierre Diégane KADET
C4D Co-Chair
CARE CANADA
[email protected]

Cc: The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Geoffroi Montpetit, Chief of Staff for the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie