Canada takes action to help developing countries fight climate change



    NUSA DUA, BALI, INDONESIA, Dec. 9 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment
Minister, John Baird, announced today that Canada will be making a major
contribution to the Global Environment Facility's Special Climate Change Fund.
With this new $7.5 million contribution, Canada's total contribution to the
Special Climate Change Fund is $13.5 million. This makes Canada the second
largest donor to the Fund which helps developing countries reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions.
    "This major contribution to the Special Climate Change Fund shows that
Canada is making a difference in the global effort to fight climate change
which is one of the greatest challenges facing the world community," said
Minister Baird. "With this new $7.5 million contribution, Canada is now the
second largest contributor to the Special Climate Change Fund. This is yet
another example of Canada showing real leadership on the world's stage."
    While many countries will be affected by climate change, some of the
poorest countries will be hardest hit by its impacts and have the least
ability to cope due to their already marginalized economies. Canada will
continue to help developing countries to both battle climate change, and adapt
to its effects. Our efforts are critical to alleviating poverty and achieving
sustainable, long term development results.
    The Special Climate Change Fund will help developing countries:

    
    - identify, analyze and implement adaptive measures in critical sectors
      such as water resource and land management, agriculture and health;

    - plan, prepare for and manage climate change related disaster response
      and prevention;

    - monitor diseases and vectors affected by climate change; and

    - avoid or minimize emissions of greenhouse gases through access to
      technology.


    An independent financial organization that provides grants to developing
countries for projects that benefit the global environment, the Global
Environment Facility is a long-standing partner of the Government of Canada.
    "On behalf of the Global Environment Facility I am pleased to accept
Canada's significant contribution. This will help the most vulnerable
countries adapt to climate change," said Monique Barbut, Chief Executive
Officer and Chairperson, of the Global Environment Facility. "Through support
from countries like Canada, we are able to fund projects that will help with
the technology transfer that is critical for them to succeed in reducing
greenhouse gas emissions."
    Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, is already
contributing $158 million over four years (2006-2010) to the Global
Environment Facility. About 35 percent of this supports global climate change
efforts.
    Minister Baird made this announcement while in Indonesia to attend the
United Nations Climate Change Convention.

    (Egalement offert en français)


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                 BACKGROUNDER
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

                     CANADA ENHANCES ITS SUPPORT TO THE
             SPECIAL CLIMATE CHANGE FUND FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

    While many countries will feel the effects of climate change, scientific
research suggests that many developing countries will experience significant
shortages of water for drinking and agriculture; more severe droughts and
increasing desertification; increased pollutant load from overflows of waste
facilities; saltwater intrusion; and reduced food production. Climate change
is also expected to increase the incidence of extreme weather events and
result in more frequent humanitarian emergencies.
    The Global Environment Facility (GEF) which administers the Special
Climate Change Fund -- a voluntary fund to which countries can choose to
contribute -- is an international organization with a membership of 178
countries. It supports national sustainable development initiatives by
financing projects in developing countries which benefit the environment by
focusing on biodiversity, climate change, the ozone layer, international
waters, land degradation and Persistent Organic Pollutants which are harmful
substances that remain in the atmosphere and have a potentially significant
impact on human health and the environment.
    The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) represents Canada on
the Governing Council of the GEF, and has a strong voice in the management of
the institution.
    As a member of the Governing Council, Canada plays a key role in
determining program priorities for the Special Climate Change Fund and how it
is managed.
    The GEF is the largest source of international funding for global
environmental issues and is Canada's main institutional partner in the
environment sector. CIDA's contribution to the GEF is the principal means by
which the Government of Canada meets its obligations to help developing
countries implement key global environmental agreements.
    Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency, is already
contributing $158 million over four years (2006-2010) to the Global
Environment Facility. About 35 percent of this supports global climate change
efforts.
    With this new $7.5 million contribution, Canada's total contribution to
the Special Climate Change Fund is $13.5 million-making Canada the second
largest donor, after the United Kingdom, to this fund.
    




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441, In Indonesia: 085857032508; 
Environment Canada, Media Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008, In
Indonesia: Gregory Jack, 085857032502


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