Canadian minister makes first visit to China in four years

Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault left for Beijing on Saturday to attend a meeting on climate change and biodiversity issues.

This will make Guilbeault the first Canadian cabinet minister to visit China in four years.

The annual general meeting of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED) is scheduled for August 28-30 under the theme of "Green Transition for High-Quality Development: Modernization in Harmony with Nature."

"Canadians are facing the dire realities of climate change, from devastating wildfires, to floods, storms, heatwaves, and droughts," the minister was quoted as saying in a press statement issued by his office.

Founded in 1992, the CCICED is a high-level international advisory body which seeks to foster cooperation between China and the international community on environment and sustainable development policies.

"Climate change and environmental issues know no borders. We cannot tackle these existential threats without engaging with a wide range of stakeholders and partners," he said.

The minister noted that he also intends to follow up on a UN nature summit hosted by Canada and presided over by China late last year, which culminated in a global deal to protect the ecosystems that fuel half the world's economy.

U.S. climate envoy John Kerry visited China for similar discussions in July, and other G7 countries including France and Germany have also sent climate representatives since China relaxed international travel ban after it optimized its COVID-19 response.

(With input from agencies)

(Cover: Canadian Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault speaks during the UN Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada, December 12, 2022. /CFP)

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