QUÉBEC, Dec. 9, 2014 – Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, today joined his sub-national partners in signing the Compact of States and Regions.
This international platform is designed to showcase and quantify the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction commitments and achievements of sub-national and regional governments. The Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD) and the Regions of Climate Action (R20) are acting in partnership with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) to implement the Pact.
Signatories to the Pact undertake to adopt a GHG emission reduction target in the medium term and to annually report a standardized set of emission inventory data.
The objective of the partners is to draw up a faithful portrait of the overall contribution made by sub-national and regional governments, in order to cross-compare their efforts in the fight against climate change. By releasing their annual recorded results in a joint report and sharing it with the different bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), they hope to support worldwide efforts at fighting climate change and to raise to the level of ambition to reduce GHG emissions at all levels of governance.
For many years, Québec has prioritized the fight against climate change. The most recent available data shows that Québec has now achieved its initial goal of reducing GHG emissions to 6% below 1990 levels by 2012. It continues to move forward with its commitment to international climate change efforts by aiming to achieve an even more ambitious target for 2020: lowering its GHG emissions to 20% below 1990 levels.
The Québec carbon market that was set up in 2013 and linked to that of California at the start of 2014 is central to its approach to fighting climate change.
“In the face of the worldwide threat from climate change, all levels of government – national and sub-national – as well as cities have a responsibility to speak frankly and act decisively. In joining the Compact of States and Regions, Québec reaffirms its will continue to play a leading role in the international fight against climate change,” stated Minister Heurtel.
Québec Premier Philippe Couillard announced that Québec would join the Compact of States and Regions while participating in the United Nations Summit on Climate Change that was held in September 2014.
Québec has assumed the role of co-president of the Climate Group’s Alliance of States and Regions since its creation in 2012, and has held a seat on the executive board of nrg4SD since becoming a member in 2010. Part of the mandate of these two international organizations is to promote the policies and actions of subnational governments in the fight against climate change, and facilitate the exchange of good practices among their members.
“In anticipation of the signature of a new international climate agreement next year in Paris, it has become more important than ever to stress the leadership shown by sub-national and regional governments in fighting climate change. For its part, Québec is committed to increasing its action in this area,” said Minister Heurtel.
There is room for improvement and innovation in developing niches that will foster both the fight against climate change and the re-launch of the economy. We must all work together – starting today – to ensure the future of our planet and build a low-carbon society in which we want to see our children grow up,” he concluded.
The Québec decision is reflective a growing engagement by sub-national bodies to exercise leadership on climate change matters in the absence of decisive action by national governments.