The Paris Agreement 2015 calls for significant reductions in global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to limit global warming to less than 2 ̊C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 ̊C above preindustrial levels. Parties to the Agreement agreed that they should, when taking action to address climate change, recognize and respect the rights of Indigenous peoples. Canada took the first step in this direction when First Ministers met with the Métis National Council (MNC), Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) the day before they concluded the Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change on March 3, 2016.
The Vancouver Declaration committed the parties to advance the Paris Agreement by developing a concrete plan to achieve Canada’s international commitments through a pan-Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change. First Ministers committed to doing this in partnership with Indigenous peoples based on recognition of rights, respect and cooperation. They directed that reports be developed by working groups to identify options for action in four areas and that each of the groups will include Indigenous peoples in their work.
The MNC, AFN and ITK have been participating in these four working groups: clean technology, innovation and jobs; carbon pricing mechanisms; specific mitigation opportunities; and adaptation and climate resilience. Each working group will assess impacts on economic and environmental outcomes. Their reports will be provided to Ministers in the fall of 2016 who will then review these reports and make recommendations to First Ministers.
The MNC Environment Committee is looking at the challenges and opportunities for the Métis Nation in transitioning to a low carbon economy and meeting clean growth goals. The MNC will convene a special assembly to review and ratify the Métis Nation’s recommendations in October.