Active participation of Minister David Heurtel at New York Climate Week
|New York, September 20, 2017. – Québec’s initiatives in the fight against climate change were extensively promoted during the 9th Climate Week, held this week in New York City. The Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, took part in several events where he stressed the relevance of carbon markets as tools for fighting climate change and the crucial role of federated states that, like Québec, are implementing structuring measures both for the environment and the economy.
Carbon markets experiencing worldwide growth
The minister was invited to deliver a speech during the opening ceremony of the Carbon Forum North America (CFNA) during which he drove home the importance of integrating a carbon price into the global economy to effectively fight climate change. His overview of the development of the world’s carbon markets enabled the audience to see that the movement toward establishing a carbon price in the global economy is indeed underway and gaining considerable ground on all continents. The minister made it a point to acknowledge the rigorous work of international organizations dedicated to promoting and linking carbon markets in the world, such as the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), which celebrated its 10th anniversary this year, and the International Emission Trading Association, which hosts the CFNA.
The minister also reported on the latest developments in the Québec-California carbon market, including its upcoming linkage with the Ontario carbon market. The three partners are working in close collaboration to conclude the linkage agreement soon that will integrate their respective systems within the framework of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI). It bears recalling that Québec and Ontario alone have a population of 20 million and account for 56% of Canada’s economy. The WCI carbon market, recognized the world over for its effectiveness and high degree of rigor, is generating interest among several other federated states and countries, such as China, Mexico and Switzerland, which have asked Québec to share its expertise with them.
The minister moderated discussions on carbon pricing the day before a meeting of the Under2 Coalition.
Learning about climate change
Minister Heurtel spoke at the event entitled Climate Education, Children and Youth – Accelerating the Implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals organized by the presidency of the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP 22) and the secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in collaboration with UNICEF. Education plays a key role in the global response to climate change and Québec is making major efforts in that area. The minister presented several initiatives by Québec, including Québec’s Climate Action Program, which funds many projects related to climate change education, and the Youth Initiative launched by Premier Philippe Couillard during the 2015 Paris Conference. Furthermore, since 2012, the Québec government has been putting out a call for projects to organizations wishing to participate in activities organized in conjunction with the Conference of the Parties, or wishing to organize educational activities in Québec focusing on what is at stake in the negotiations.
In addition to these public addresses, the minister held several bilateral meetings. Those with whom he met included the Undersecretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico, Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo, as well as the Deputy Commissioner at the New York State Office of Air Resources, Climate Change and Energy, Jared Snyder. The minister also had an opportunity to speak with the new Director of the Under2 Coalition, Tim Ash Vie, who was accompanied by the Climate Group’s States and Regions Director, Libby Ferguson. Among the topics discussed at these meetings were carbon markets (including the WCI carbon market), the green economy, renewable energy development, flood management, transportation electrification, pan-Canadian cooperation and the environmental assessment process.
“Again this year, Québec has been able to highlight the innovative measures it has implemented at a number of forums. I had an opportunity to meet with several of Québec’s strategic partners in the fight against climate change. This helped strengthen our bilateral and multilateral alliances. Québec intends to remain a committed player in the international community and my participation in New York Climate Week, as well as that of Premier Philippe Couillard, are consistent with that desire.”
David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
- Organized by the Climate Group, Climate Week NYC puts together a series of public events featuring high-level international personalities from federated states, cities and businesses in North America and elsewhere who are committed to the fight against climate change and the transition to a green economy.
- The event is part of the line-up of preparatory activities in which Québec will participate between now and the 23rd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to be held in Bonn, Germany, in November.
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Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
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Ministère du Développement durable,
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