Remarks at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Italy
I want to begin by thanking Prime Minister Draghi for welcoming us to Rome for this G20. There’s always been a tremendously strong partnership between Italy and Canada, strong people-to-people ties, growing trade ties, and shared values, of course, are the cornerstone of our friendship and relationship.
I also want to highlight that it was a moment in this G20, to recognize the incredible leadership that Angela Merkel has shown over the past 16 years as chancellor. She has been such a strong voice on so many big international issues, a voice of strength, of wisdom, and she’s been personally a really good friend to me and a font of advice, wisdom, and probing questions that has always helped me be more effective on the world stage.
Canada is, of course, prepared to continue working with our G20 partners on the big issues facing our world. We’re here to work together, to overcome the major challenges together, and that’s what we’ve been talking about in these meetings today and yesterday.
Of course, the big issue that we continue to address first was the recovery from COVID-19. We know that to beat COVID anywhere, we have to beat it everywhere, which is why we announced that Canada will donate 200 million doses to COVAX by the end of 2022, we’re investing $15 million to the COVAX Manufacturing Task Force to support a tech transfer hub in South Africa, we’ve paid our fair share on the ACT-Accelerator for testing, and we’ve also announced $982 million, from Special Drawing Rights, to IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, which will help the developing world recover from the impacts of this pandemic and grow the economies in positive ways for tomorrow.
The big theme as well, speaking of tomorrow and the day after and the week to come, was COP26, and discussions on the environment and the fight against climate change were woven through our sessions in addition to the main session this morning on climate change and the environment. In 2015, Canada signed onto the Paris Agreement and made strong commitments about being a climate leader, not just at home but in encouraging others around the world to continue to step up. Since then, we’ve brought in a strong broad-based price on pollution, we’ve invested in clean tech and renewable energy, we’ve protected more of our land and oceans than ever before -- when we came into office in 2015, just 1% of our coasts and oceans were protected, we’re now at 14% and well on our way to 25 by 25, and 30% by 2030.
We also talked about the responsibility we all have to eliminate coal, to reduce the use of and eliminate coal, to curb our methane emissions. Canada has taken concrete actions over the last few years and we’ll be phasing out coal electricity by 2030, and we encourage the world to do the same.
But we’re going to be there to invest, to help the world cut down on it, and we have committed to doubling our climate financing.
We’ve doubled our climate financing commitment, a commitment we made in Paris that we’ve now doubled, and we’ve been working with partners like Germany and others to ensure that the world steps up to that 100 billion-dollar-for-climate-financing that we know is going to be necessary if developing countries are able to be part of this transition – which we need them to be – or we face the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
We also talked about the role of the private sector in tackling climate change.
There are obviously profits to be made for the private sector, but more importantly there are investments that will be good for the planet, that the various multinationals, the private sector is interested in making. Canada has been part of several groups that are trying to encourage private investment in climate action, and we will continue to do so.
Obviously, you can’t come to a G20 without talking about trade. Strengthening and deepening progressive trade around the world continues to be one of the big goals that Canada has, as we’ve signed a number of strong trade deals over the past number of years that are really coming into their own. And on my visit here to Italy, on Friday in the Netherlands, we talked a lot about how CETA in particular has increased opportunities both for Canadian businesses and businesses here in Europe to create deeper connections and more positive outcomes. We’re going to continue to push on that, for more good jobs and growth, which are good for the small- and medium-size business, good for workers, good for all of our economies.
This G20 has been a lot of hard work and we’ll continue to do that work tomorrow with partners from around the world as we go to Glasgow to fight for a cleaner environment and fight against climate change.
I’m looking forward to getting to it.