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2 Oct 2009

Governors’ Global Climate Summit: Jean Charest reaffirms the fundamental role of federated states in the fight against climate change

Premier Charest with Governor Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver. Photo: Eric Charbonneau

At the close of the 2nd Governors’ Global Climate Summit co-hosted by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Los Angeles, on October 2, Québec Premier Jean Charest signed the final declaration in which participating governments reiterate the urgency of taking action to combat climate change and the importance of recognizing the fundamental contribution made by federated states in implementing solutions for reducing the effects of greenhouse gases (GHG). The joint declaration by the leaders of regions and federated states will stimulate discussions on establishing a new climate change protocol at the UN Conference on climate change that will be held next December in Copenhagen.

“It is imperative that decision-makers come to a post-Kyoto agreement at the Copenhagen Conference. Unprecedented collaboration at all levels of government is needed in order to do so. The contribution of federated states to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is essential,” stated the Premier.

At the plenary session entitled Building upon Subnational Leadership – On the Road to Copenhagen, the Premier of Québec called for immediate action and extremely close international cooperation to find solutions for reducing GHGs globally. Jean Charest cited Québec’s initiatives which have earned it leadership status in the fight against climate change in Canada and around the world.

“Today, all governments must work together and share best practices to protect the environment. The economic crisis we are experiencing provides an opportunity to rebuild the economy while taking the environment into consideration and making the best use of technologies in this sector,” said Premier Charest.

During the summit, which was also attended by Algeria’s Minister of Land Planning, Tourism and the Environment, Cherif Rahmani, Premier Charest announced a partnership between Québec and Algeria focusing on the Algerian region of Tizi-Ouzou. The partnership is part of the Territorial Approach to Climate Change initiative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and involves assisting the region in developing a climate change strategy through the use of Québec’s expertise and technology in this field.

Since developing countries are the most vulnerable to climate change impacts, the Québec government made a commitment last June 26, in Brussels, to contribute to the international environmental solidarity effort.

The Premier also met with several representatives of federated states, regions and groups of regional governments to fine-tune their strategy in preparation for the Copenhagen conference. It should be noted that the 2nd Governors’ Global Climate Summit, held from September 30 to October 2, was attended by 1200 participants, including U.S. governors and representatives of state and regional governments. Algeria, Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Nigeria and the Philippines were among those represented. Discussions centered on clean energies, adapting to climate change and sustainable development.

Governors’ Global Climate Summit
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