Canada’s Participation in the G8 Summit
July 20, 2021

Ottawa Journal (July 20 - July 24, 2021)
David Tilson, M.P.

During his recent trip to Italy, Prime Minister Harper continued to demonstrate Canada’s role as a world leader at the 2009 G8 Summit. He did this by pledging to address the global food security crisis and by helping to found a new global partnership to advance carbon capture and storage technologies. These commitments were followed by other G8 members and address some of the most significant issues the international community currently faces.

The G8 (also known as the Group of Eight), isn’t an international organization; rather it is a process that culminates into an annual Summit. The Heads of State and Governments of member countries come together to discuss global issues in an effort to identify solutions to overcome them. The primary group of countries taking part in the process is called the G8. The members of the G8 include: France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada. During recent years, the G8 has included the main countries with emerging economies, known as the Group of Five (G5), in a process of dialogue. The G5 countries include: Brazil, People’s Republic of China, India, Mexico, and South Africa.

In addition to the traditional members, the Italian duty presidency invited countries that make up the Major Economies Forum, the NEPAD (New Partnership for Africa’s Development) founder states, the representatives of the African Union, Spain, Turkey, and the Netherlands.

One of the major issues of great importance and urgency for many of these participants has been food security. The Government of Canada has been very aware of this challenge after seeing a troubling pattern of food scarcity and price instability causing significant hardship to those most vulnerable, primarily in the developing world. Therefore, Canada is responding, as Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada will more than double its investment in food security and provide $600 million in increased funding over three years, reaching $1.8 billion in overall funding. In total, G8 countries members pledged to mobilize at least USD $15 billion (CAD $17.4 billion) over three years. The new funding will go to bilateral programming and multilateral initiatives.

Canada is a global leader in increasing food security with our overall investment including food aid reaching over $580 million in fiscal year 2008-2009, a nearly 40 per cent year-over-year increase. Our long-standing commitment was recently re-affirmed by the identification of food security as one of Canada’s five international assistance priorities.

Another issue of great concern for the international community has been emissions and climate change. Canada is building on its leadership role in the development of new, clean technologies to fight the problem of climate change by helping to found a new global partnership to advance carbon capture and storage technologies. Through this global partnership, Canada will create more opportunities to share its own expertise on the world stage.

Canada is joined by Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, Norway, China, and 13 other nations as founding members of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute. The Institute will be a global centre of expertise and help accelerate the deployment of carbon capture and storage demonstration projects worldwide. More than 80 major companies and industry associations have also joined the Institute, who will encourage developing countries to apply this technology to energy production.
Since first taking office in 2006, our Government has worked hard to enhance Canada’s standing on the world stage and the G8 Summit underscored our commitment to this effort and to working with other nations to overcome significant global issues.