Commons votes to ratify Paris global climate deal

Takes effect 30 days after 55 countries, accounting for at least 55% of global emissions, adopt it.

October 6, 2016   by CP STAFF

OTTAWA — The House of Commons has voted to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change, helping to tip the international scales on the global deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

After a pair of proposed amendments went down to defeat, a motion to ratify the deal passed by a margin of 207 to 81, with the New Democrats voting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his majority Liberal caucus.

The vote – paired with similar expressions of support today from the European Union and Nepal – means the deal comes into force in 30 days, after the number of countries ratifying the accord surpassed a key threshold.

The agreement – holding countries to emissions reductions that limit global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees C – takes effect 30 days after 55 countries, accounting for at least 55% of global emissions, have adopted it.

The debate over Paris became contentious this week when Trudeau announced plans to impose a minimum carbon price on provinces and territories that have not – or will not – do it themselves.

The plan would compel provinces to collect $10 per tonne of emissions in 2018, rising to $50 a tonne in 2022, as a way to foster green energy growth and discourage fossil fuel consumption.

Today’s motion also pledges support for the Vancouver Declaration, in which Canada’s premiers and territorial leaders agreed during meetings in March to look at market mechanisms for carbon pricing within their own jurisdictions.

The Conservatives said they would not support the motion without an amendment that would have required the Liberal government to abandon its carbon price plan. That amendment went down to defeat.

The New Democrats wanted the motion to require a more detailed and ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including municipal and indigenous governments, but that subamendment was also voted down.

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