Canada to tell world it's serious about climate change, says PM

Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:05pm EST
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By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will tell a green summit next week that it is finally ready to tackle climate change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday after a meeting with the country's provinces to work out a national strategy.

Trudeau's Liberals won an election last month promising radical change on the environment from the previous Conservative administration, which was widely criticized for not doing enough to combat global warming during its near decade in power.

Trudeau, who will attend a United Nations environmental summit in Paris next week, says Canada must curb its emissions of greenhouse gases.

"In Paris a united Canada will demonstrate that we are serious about climate change," Trudeau told a late-night news conference after meeting with premiers of the 10 provinces and three territories.

Alberta, home to most of Canada's oil sands, said on Sunday in a ground-breaking move that it would implement an economy-wide tax on carbon emissions in 2017.

Trudeau and the provinces hope their united approach and Alberta's move will help dispel some of the international suspicion about Canada and climate change.

At previous U.N. summits the Conservative government sometimes found itself openly at odds with activist groups and even some provinces. Those days were over, said Trudeau.

"We need to show a renewed image of Canada to the world," said Quebec premier Philippe Couillard.   Continued...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (6th R) poses with provincial and territorial premiers during the First Ministers' meeting in Ottawa, Canada November 23, 2015. Also pictured are L-R Nunavut Premier Peter Taptuna, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Prince Edward Island Wade MacLauchlan, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark, Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and Yukon Premier Darrell Pasloski. REUTERS/Chris Wattie