Canada’s new Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, has a growing global fan base due to his noble political actions. His careful selection of cabinet ministers certainly proved his electoral victory is due to much more than a family name. Trudeau was praised for his gender-balanced selection, and for his choice of multi-ethnic and indigenous cabinet members. Or quite simply, a Canadian cabinet that looks like Canada.
More important was the political recruitment based on expertise and qualifications, rather than the typical shuffling of politicians from the Department of Agriculture, to Transport, then to Disability, then shove them in Sport, or to wherever we can fit them. Trudeau has taken a different meritocratic and skill-based approach. Logical!
Trudeau’s COP speech stayed true to his recent form. He opened with a promise that Canada “will do more to address the global challenge of climate change”.
In just three and half minutes he successfully summed up the enormity of the climate threat and how his government will rise to the challenge by mitigating emissions and assisting those in need of urgent adaptation.
The five sustainability principles his government prioritise are successfully holistic, inclusive, lucid, and optimistic.
First and foremost is building the scientific basis. The other objectives include carbon pricing; consulting indigenous people on their traditional environmental knowledge; assisting developing nations to mitigate and adapt to climate change; and building green growth.
He has also invited the opposition parties along to the COP Agreement in Paris. Canada’s last PM, the Conservative Stephen Harper, famously excluded opposition parties from climate summits.
Trudeau closed on a memorable high note too: “Canada is back, my good friends. And we’re here to help.”
"We view climate change not just as the challenge it is, but also as a historic opportunity. An opportunity to build a sustainable economy based on technology on green infrastructure and on green jobs. We will not sacrifice growth, we will create growth.” The Prime Minister went on to explain how the goals would be implemented and why a Paris agreement should reflect the “new reality” the world faces.