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Momentum Builds as the G7 Halifax Environment Ministers Meeting

John Kirton, Director, G7 Research Group
September 19, 2018

As the second half of the G7 Halifax environment ministers meeting started, it was on course to be a clear success.

Catherine McKenna, Canada's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, opened the afternoon session by noting the "great" sessions ministers had had in the morning and at lunch. Her relaxed, buoyant confidence confirmed the feeling that things were going very well.

In setting the agenda for the first afternoon session on adaptation and conserving nature, McKenna noted the importance of biodiversity and its critical impact on human health. She listed the many things Canada had recently done to build biodiversity and resilience at home, and the major money it had mobilized to this end. She then looked outward, pointing to the vulnerability of small island developing states including those in the Caribbean that were still recovering from last year's hurricane season, even as new ones threatened to come. She again appropriately noted the need to mobilize money, in the form of innovative climate finance.

In keeping with her opening remarks in the morning, McKenna set forth an ambitious agenda for the afternoon's sessions and added her hope that they would be lively. And she ended by highlighting the role of women, not just as victims of climate change but as empowered individuals with solutions whose voice must be heard.

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John KirtonJohn Kirton is director of the G7 Research Group, and co-director of the G20 Research Group, the Global Health Diplomacy Program and the BRICS Research Group, all based at Trinity College at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. He is also a Non-resident Senior Fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at China's Renmin University. A professor of political science, he teaches global governance and international relations and Canadian foreign policy. He has served as a member of Canada's National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, and has advised the Commission for Environmental Cooperation, estabished to implement the North American Free Trade Agreement. He as also advised Environment and Climate Change Canada. His most recent books include Accountability for Effectiveness in Global Governance, co-edited with Marina Larionova (Routledge 2018), China's G20 Leadership (Routledge, 2016), G20 Governance for a Globalized World (Ashgate, 2012) and (with Ella Kokotsis), The Global Governance of Climate Change: G7, G20 and UN Leadership (Ashgate, 2015), as well as The G8-G20 Relationship in Global Governance, co-edited with Marina Larionova (Ashgate, 2015), and Moving Health Sovereignty in Africa: Disease, Govenance, Climate Change, co-edted with Andrew F. Cooper, Franklyn Lisk and Hany Besada (Ashgate, 2014). Kirton is also co-editor with Madeline Koch of several publications on the G7/8, the G20 and the BRICS, including G7 Canada: The 2018 Charlevoix Summit, published by GT Media and the Global Governance Project.

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