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COP26: McKenna says she has doubts world will hit Paris climate targets

Click to play video: 'Catherine McKenna skeptical of reaching global climate goals, but optimistic' Catherine McKenna skeptical of reaching global climate goals, but optimistic
WATCH: Catherine McKenna skeptical of reaching global climate goals, but optimistic – Oct 24, 2021

As world leaders prepare to meet in Glasgow for the United Nations climate talks known as “COP26,” Canada’s former environment minister says she has doubts on whether countries will be able to hit the emissions reductions targets laid out in the Paris Agreement.

In an interview with The West Block guest host Mike Le Couteur, Catherine McKenna said hitting the targets is still possible, but it will require “digging deep.”

“Success ultimately would look like, ‘We’ve got a path to stay well below two degrees, striving for one point five,'” she said, referring to the Paris Agreement pledge to limit global warming to between 2 C and 1.5 C.

“I don’t think we’re going to get there, but the Paris Agreement — don’t lose hope. It requires countries to continuously raise ambition.”

Read more: Health problems tied to climate change getting worse, reports show

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COP26 meetings take place starting this weekend in Scotland, where world leaders will gather in what has been dubbed “the world’s last best chance” to stop global warming from hitting dangerous levels.

Summit organizers say they want to raise $100 billion to help developing nations tackle climate change, which is a target McKenna said will be pivotal to whether the gathering succeeds.

“There will be no success in COP unless there’s a $100 billion raised,” she said.

The summit comes as the world has borne witness to increasingly devastating severe weather patterns over recent years, including horrific wildfires in Australia, the Amazon rainforest, the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia.

Read more: U.N. climate change report: Here are the key takeaways

Deaths from severe heat, hunger worsened by droughts and the increased spread of infectious diseases are also increasing, according to a new report published by The Lancet medical journal last week.

The report warned of a “code red” for humanity as health problems due to climate change grow worse.

It was the second such recent report to issue similar warnings, following a UN report in August.

The World Health Organization this year dubbed climate change the ‘biggest health threat facing humanity.”

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McKenna suggested the world can take lessons in tackling climate change from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can do it. We tackled COVID. We’re on our way to getting out of COVID. It’s the same thing with climate,” she said.

“We can do it, but we’re going to have to really work extremely hard and be focused.”

Click to play video: '‘Code red for humanity’: UN report issues grim warning on climate change' ‘Code red for humanity’: UN report issues grim warning on climate change
‘Code red for humanity’: UN report issues grim warning on climate change – Aug 9, 2021

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