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Canada pressured to match tough climate talk with leadership at key meeting

The Syncrude oil sands extraction facility is reflected in a tailings pond near the city of Fort McMurray, Alta., on June 1, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

OTTAWA — The Canadian government is facing heavy pressure to fill a leadership void at an international meeting trying to set the rules for implementing the Paris Climate Change accord.

Catherine Abreu, executive director of the Climate Action Network Canada, said host Poland, which is still heavily reliant on coal, is not playing the typical leadership role.

The Brexit crisis in the U.K., wild protests against carbon taxes in France, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s planned departure from politics have made all three less inclined to take on their past roles of being at the forefront of pushing the Paris goals.

Abreu says there is pressure on Canada at the meeting to fill that void.

Officials arrived in the small coal-mining city of Katowice last week to get the nuts and bolts of the rulebook together and the draft is coming out today.

Politicians arriving this week have to do the heavier lifting to overcome political disagreements about what the world has to do to limit global warming and how they will all be held accountable for doing it.


The Canadian Press