Canada's Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna hopes to drum up clean technology business for Canadian companies during a trade mission she is leading to China from Dec. 5-8.
"I’m really excited about my trade mission to China," McKenna told reporters in Ottawa on Friday. "They need solutions and it’s a $23 trillion opportunity. Canada needs to be there. I’m certainly going to be there with Canadian business leaders from a variety of different sectors ranging from the mining sector to carbon capture and storage to renewables."
McKenna's description of the whopping $23 trillion opportunity was based on an estimate from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a division of the World Bank Group that offers financial services for economic development.
A clean technology business delegation will join her on the trip, McKenna's office said in a statement. The Canadian minister will also attend high level meetings with her counterparts and serve as the international executive vice chair at a meeting of the China Council on Environmental Cooperation and Development, her office added.
The IFC found that these investments opportunities were generated after the international community agreed on the Paris Agreement on climate change in 2015, a pact that just came into force this fall. The estimate was based on national climate change goals and promises from 21 emerging-market economies that represent nearly half of all global emissions. For Asian countries like China, the report found that there were $16 trillion worth of investment opportunities for green buildings.
McKenna said that she and her business delegation would also be trying to promote recent Saskatchewan investments in technology for coal power plants that capture carbon pollution in the air and then bury it underground.
"Everyone understands that we need all solutions when it comes to tackling climate change," Mckenna said. "I’ve had great discussions with my Chinese counterpart on the climate file. We’ve worked extremely closely together and so we certainly want to continue showing leadership on that file."
She added that Chinese leaders were looking for solutions across the board to tackle both climate change and their concerns about air quality.
"They are looking at renewables and they have taken very significant steps when it comes to renewables whether it’s wind or solar," she said. "Nuclear is a possible option. I think it’s really just saying 'look at Canada.' We’ve got solutions here. We have really great business leaders that are willing to work with the Chinese, with the Chinese government, with Chinese companies because it’s good for both of us."