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Recovery from coronavirus pandemic must include ‘ambitious’ climate change plan: Trudeau

Click to play video 'Trudeau says recovery following COVID-19 pandemic must include ‘ambitious’ climate change plan' Trudeau says recovery following COVID-19 pandemic must include ‘ambitious’ climate change plan
WATCH: Trudeau says recovery following COVID-19 pandemic must include ‘ambitious’ climate change plan – Dec 12, 2020
Countries rebuilding from the devastation left by the novel coronavirus pandemic must do so in a way that includes an “ambitious plan to take strong action against climate change,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Saturday.

“We will raise our emission reduction ambitions,” he said in a pre-recorded video. “And in partnership with provinces and territories, we as a country will strive for the upper end of a range of 32 to 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Read more: World leaders mark 5 years of Paris climate agreement with virtual gathering

Trudeau made the comments during a virtual summit with world leaders on Saturday to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris climate accord.

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The agreement, adopted in 2015 by 196 countries, saw nations pledge to keep their greenhouse gas emissions under a level that would keep global temperatures from rising above 2 C, and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

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Trudeau’s comments at the virtual summit come a day after his government unveiled a major new climate plan.

The plan involves billions in new funding for green vehicles and infrastructure, as well as changes to the Clean Fuel Standard set to take effect in late 2021.

It also details exactly how much the federal government plans to raise the levy on greenhouse gas emissions, which is set to hit $50 per tonne in 2022.

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We will raise Canada’s price on carbon pollution by $15 a tonne starting in 2023, and rising to $170 Canadian dollars per ton by 2030,” he said.

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The prime minister also said Canada will “remain committed to making significant investments in international climate finance.”

“Because to effectively fight climate change at home, we must fight it everywhere.”

Trudeau said the pandemic has “taught us the importance of global cooperation.”

Read more: Trudeau says net-zero bill ‘cements’ climate targets — but it can be repealed

“And we must translate that lesson to how we deal with the climate crisis, because our kids and grandkids are counting on us,” he continued.

Laurent Fabius, president of the COP21 Paris Climate Conference, said he wished world powers had fought global warming as resolutely as they have confronted the novel coronavirus pandemic.

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“Unfortunately, we are not doing as much to fight climate change as we are to tackle the fallout from COVID,” Fabius said.

–With files from Global News’ Amanda Connolly and The Associated Press

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