Climate change | Britain’s new high commissioner hopes to get help from Canada

(Ottawa) Canada remains a reliable partner in the fight against climate change, despite an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in recent years, says the new British High Commissioner in Ottawa.


Mike Blanchfield
Canadian Press

Susanna Joshko told the Canadian press that the Trudeau government has shown leadership on the world stage in the fight against climate change.

In particular, she noted that Canada has doubled its financial commitments and increased its carbon emission reduction targets. This puts pressure on other countries.

NSI Joshko spoke on the matter as the UK prepares to chair the next UN Climate Change Conference, COP26, which will take place next month in Glasgow, Scotland.

Photo provided by the British High Commission in Ottawa

The new British High Commissioner in Ottawa, Susanna Joshko

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had to face criticism from his political opponents and environmental groups during the last election campaign. Carbon emissions continued to increase from 2015 to 2019, the latest year for which data are available, in Canada.

It is not known whether the new federal policies have helped the country reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the past two years, but recent data has bolstered the view that Canada’s reputation has been tarnished since 2015.

But not in the eyes of the British, according to MI Joshko.

“It is of course difficult to do what is necessary to achieve our climate goals,” she said. The transition to a carbon neutral economy is really difficult. The important thing in Canada is that the will to do this is there. ”

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Canada pledged this year to be carbon neutral by 2050. It has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 40 to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030.

This will, expressed by the Canadian government, is indicative of “strong Canadian leadership” in this area, says Mr.I Joshko. It also confirms the joint work between Canada and Germany to persuade rich countries to mobilize $100 billion to help poor countries combat climate change.

“This is the kind of leadership we need. All countries must step up their efforts if the next COP is to be a success.”

She said it was critical for China, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, to play a role in COP26, but the British government was still waiting to see if President Xi Jinping would be present at the opening of the conference.

The High Commissioner states that although China is energy intensive, it is the country that invests the most in renewable energies.

face china

NSI Gushko was a high-level advisor to former Secretary of State Dominic Raab during the period that saw the strengthening of relations between the two countries.

She noted the development of friendship between Mr. Raab and former Canadian Foreign Minister, François-Philippe Champagne, before and after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NSI Gushko reports that his former boss was very keen on deepening the UK’s relations with Canada, especially in the wake of Brexit.

This manifested itself in Canada’s continued support for denouncing the arbitrary imprisonment of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were finally released in September.

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The diplomat states that Canada was among the first to condemn human rights violations in Hong Kong. He punished China for mistreating the Uyghur minority in Xinjiang Province.

“I don’t remember a time when Canada refused to support us on these issues,” she said.

NSI Gushko emphasizes that military cooperation between the UK and Canada has remained strong, especially in Eastern Europe and the Arctic.

She emphasized that the alliance between the intelligence services of the two countries, the United States, Australia and New Zealand, known as the Five Eyes, remained a top priority for the United Kingdom. Each member state seeks to enhance its capabilities in this field. Nothing interferes with the formation of UKUS, a new alliance between the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

“I don’t think UKUS is hurting Five Eyes. It wouldn’t make sense for us for one organization to work at the expense of another.”

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