AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde Supports Ratification of Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Calls for First Nations Involvement in All Stages of Implementation

OTTAWA, Oct. 4, 2016 /CNW/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde welcomed Canada's commitment to implement the Paris Agreement on climate change and emphasized the need for action to mitigate the effects of climate change and carbon pricing as it affects First Nations.

"We welcome Canada's announcement and call on all governments to incorporate traditional environmental knowledge and include First Nations in all plans to address climate change," said National Chief Bellegarde. "Canada must work with First Nations on climate mitigation measures, and this includes ensuring food security, energy security and access to clean energy. This is about finding balance and moving towards clean, green energy solutions that will create employment and wealth for all."

Yesterday in the House of Commons, Prime Minister Trudeau announced that the federal government will impose a carbon price plan on provinces and territories that do not have one by 2018. The Prime Minister said the federal government is setting a price on carbon pollution at a minimum of $10 a tonne in 2018, which will rise $10 a year to $50 a tonne in 2022. Under the Paris Agreement, Canada commits to reducing its gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

As part of the announcement, the Prime Minister said he will convene a meeting with premiers and Indigenous organizations on December 8-9, 2016 to develop a pan-Canadian framework to fight climate change.

AFN National Chief Bellegarde added: "We support action on climate change and we have to make sure First Nations are well-positioned to do their part. Resources must be available for adaptation and mitigation for First Nations. There have been calls to create an Indigenous carbon fund to support this work and that should be examined.  We look forward to the meeting in December where we'll put forward innovative approaches to address climate change."

The next United Nations Climate Conference (COP22) will be held in Marrakech, Morocco from Nov. 7-18, 2017 to discuss implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

SOURCE Assembly of First Nations

For further information: please contact: Alain Garon, Bilingual Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 382, 613-292-0857 (cell), agaron@afn.ca; Jenn Jefferys, Communications Officer, 613-241-6789 ext. 110, 613-222-9656 (cell), jjefferys@afn.ca


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