PARIS, France, Dec. 5, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - The Premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard, announced today in Paris 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. He was accompanied for the occasion by the Secretary General of La Francophonie, Her Excellency Michaëlle Jean, the former Vice President of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize winner, Al Gore, the CEO of the Climate Group, Mark Kenber, and the Honorary Ambassador of the UN's Green Wave, Jean Lemire.
"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. 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," said the Premier.
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.
"By contributing to the Least Developed Countries Fund, Québec, as a federated state, is setting a precedent in international climate funding. This new gesture is yet another demonstration of the essential contribution of federated states in the fight against climate change and Québec's leadership in this area," underscored the Premier.
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. The actions that we will put forward will enable us to heighten our collaboration with the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable, which is based in Québec City," 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.
"This commitment by Québec comes at exactly the right time since it is fully aligned with the OIF's climate and sustainable development strategy. In so doing, Québec is showing all of our organization's member states and governments the path to take for the concrete implementation of innovative initiatives to confront one of the greatest challenges of our time. With this announcement, Québec is sending a strong message about the ethics of solidarity shared by all members of la Francophonie.
- Michaëlle Jean, Secretary General of La Francophonie
"Quebec continues to show bold leadership in the effort to solve the climate crisis. 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. What the people of Quebec are doing to help solve the climate crisis is a bold addition to the legacy of forward thinking action by Canadian provinces to speed our transition to a low carbon economy and is another well-timed and powerful signal that humanity is finally beginning to win the struggle to solve the climate crisis."
- Al Gore, former United States Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize
"Climate finance is at the heart of a successful COP21, and the injection of new and additional finance was always a key requirement of the Paris talks. This is a ground breaking commitment from any sub-national government in financial support, and one that needs to be celebrated. However what makes this announcement even more impressive is that it will be funded by revenue generated from their carbon market – one of the focal points to the Quebec climate strategy. This is not only a government investing into their own low carbon future, but sharing the benefits of that investment with those most at risk from climate change, securing a prosperous, sustainable future for others too."
- Mark Kenber, CEO of The Climate Group
"Today, Québec is an inspiration to me. What a wonderful example of solidarity and international commitment to help those who need it most! International climate cooperation is essential if, together, we all want to contribute to the great legacy for future generations. Academic knowledge, Québec's expertise in sustainable development and technological innovation will be put to use to help Francophone countries that are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change."
- Jean Lemire, Honorary Ambassador for The Green Wave
"We thank Québec for its generous support to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF). This groundbreaking commitment by Québec to the LDCF shows the growing international cooperation to help the most vulnerable and most exposed to the impacts of climate change."
- Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility
SOURCE Cabinet du premier ministre
For further information: Harold Fortin, Spokesperson for the Premier, Director of Communications, Office of the Premier of Québec, Telephone: 418 643-5321