PARIS, France, Dec. 5, 2015 – The government of Québec has announced a set of measures totalling $25.5M to support actions to fight climate change in Francophone countries that are the most vulnerable and most exposed to the consequences of climate change.
Québec Premier, Philippe Couillard made the announcement accompanied by the Secretary General of La Francophonie, Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean.
“With this unprecedented support, Québec is responding directly to an appeal by the United Nations to increase the international funding of climate actions in developing countries,” said the Premier.
“ Our government is proud to provide a tangible contribution and its expertise to benefit countries that are particularly affected by climate change. This is Québec’s contribution to one of the major issues of international climate negotiations.”
“Quebec continues to show bold leadership in the effort to solve the climate crisis,” noted Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner.
“Premier Couillard’s willingness to partner with the least-developed nations around the world to empower climate cooperation is truly inspiring and is contributing powerfully to the world’s success here in Paris and beyond,” he added.
Spread over five years, the assistance consists of three measures. With a budget of $18M, the first measure will involve a call for projects to support cooperation projects among academic, research and international cooperation entities in Québec and their southern partners.
These projects will capitalize on Québec’s expertise, especially in the areas of clean technology, energy, and adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
“The fight against climate change requires a commitment by the stakeholders at the forefront of this struggle that have the expertise and ability to support the most disadvantaged countries. Furthermore, this transfer of expertise can be a significant economic development lever for the most vulnerable countries,” indicated the Premier.
The second measure announced, which focuses on climate solidarity, entails a payment of $6M to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF), managed by the Global Environment Facility, the UNFCCC’s main financing mechanism.
The LDCF’s primary objective is to finance national climate change adaptation programs in 48 countries, including 19 in Francophone Africa, that have been identified as the least developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and that are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.
“With this announcement, Québec is sending a strong message about the ethics of solidarity shared by all members of la Francophonie,” said Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of La Francophonie.
The third measure, centring on climate diplomacy, youth and Francophonie, aims to strengthen the capacity of the most vulnerable Francophone countries to negotiate in French and implement international climate commitments as well as to support youth initiatives in the fight against climate change.
“This initiative is one of Québec’s preferred ways to follow through on commitments made in Dakar during the Francophonie Summit in terms of sustainable development and the fight against climate change,” concluded the Premier.
The Québec government is financing these climate cooperation measures with revenue generated by the carbon market it implemented as a flagship tool in its approach to fighting climate change.
The Québec announcement is part of a series of commitments announced at COP 21 by Canadian organizations.
Earlier this week federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna , announced Canada’s contribution of $10 million to support the improvement of early warning systems in some of the most vulnerable communities.
Also this week Jean Lebel, President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC), earlier announced a $4 million investment to help cities in the developing world be better prepared for climate change impacts and the risks these impacts pose to people, economies, and infrastructure.
Overall Canada has pledged $2.65 billion over the next five years to support developing countries’ transition to low carbon economies and adaptation to the changing climate. This is the most significant Canadian climate finance contribution ever.