Statement: Canada advocates for the inclusion of human rights language in the Paris Agreement
Ottawa, Ontario – December 5, 2015 – On behalf of the Government of Canada, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, reiterated today Canada’s strong belief that the Climate Change Agreement currently being negotiated in Paris should include specific language on the importance of respecting human rights, including the rights of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples.
“In delivering Canada’s national statement to the COP21 Climate Change Conference on November 30, 2015, our Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, outlined the five principles that will guide the Government of Canada’s action on climate change. One of these principles is our commitment to work with Indigenous leaders who are taking action on climate change, from whom we recognize we have much to learn when it comes to caring for our planet.
“This is why I have personally invited a number of representatives of National Indigenous Organizations from Canada to join me as part of the Canadian delegation here in Paris for the COP21 Climate Conference. These Indigenous leaders are here to help advise me and our negotiating team to ensure we present their key concerns in the negotiations.”
“I have instructed Canada’s Chief Negotiator for Climate Change and her team to strongly advocate for the inclusion in the Paris Agreement of language that reflects the importance of respecting the rights of Indigenous Peoples. We have also highlighted the importance of considering Indigenous traditional knowledge alongside scientific analysis.
“Negotiations are set to continue until December 11, 2015, and the text of the Agreement itself will continue to evolve during this time. Throughout these negotiations and beyond the COP21 Climate Conference, we will continue to work with our partners internationally and domestically to defend the rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.”
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
Environment and Climate Change Canada