Baird and Eminent Advisors to Chart Canada's Course at UN Climate Change Conference



    OTTAWA, Dec. 3 /CNW Telbec/ - Canada's Environment Minister, John Baird,
today announced the appointment of an advisory panel of eminent Canadians to
provide advice and assistance at the upcoming United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) conference in Indonesia.
    "The team of eminent Canadians announced today will be a tremendous asset
to the Government of Canada as we map out our path forward at home and
abroad," said Minister Baird. "Greenhouse gases and air pollution know no
borders and affect everyone on the planet. That's why our Government is
committed to tackling climate change and working with the international
community to develop a post-2012 agreement that involves all major emitters
adopting ambitious targets."
    The panel of advisors is led by the former Premier of Quebec, the Hon.
Pierre-Marc Johnson. Mr. Johnson is recognized for his expertise in
international trade, negotiations and international partnerships as well as
environmental and health law. He will be joined by the following eminent
Canadians:

    
    - Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former head of the United Nations Environment
      Program (UNEP);
    - Ian Morton, founder of the Clean Air Foundation and Chief Executive
      Officer of Summerhill Group;
    - Mary Simon, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK).

    "We look forward to accompanying Minister Baird in Indonesia where we can
engage in discussions with our international partners and provide meaningful
advice to the Minister," said Mr. Johnson. "These exchanges will help Canada
move closer to a long term and flexible agreement and we are also confident
they can contribute to addressing the issue of climate change in a
straightforward and responsible way."
    These advisors will attend many of the conference sessions and advise the
Minister on a wide range of issues, including the most appropriate framework
for negotiating a post-2012 agreement; the implementation and promotion of
green technology and how Canada can contribute; the role of developed and
developing nations in any post-2012 agreement; the impact of climate change on
the north; and the role of adaptation in responding to climate change.

    Biographies of the eminent advisors are attached.

    (Egalement offert en français)


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                                 BACKGROUNDER
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       United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference
                               Advisory Panel
    

    The Government of Canada is pleased to announce that the following group
of eminent Canadians will help map out our path forward in Bali, Indonesia, as
part of the official Canadian delegation, for the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change 13th Conference of the Parties in December.

    Pierre-Marc Johnson is a lawyer, physician, lecturer, author, former
Premier of Québec and former Professor of Law at McGill University. Since 1996
he has been with the prestigious law firm of Heenan Blaikie, where he acts as
Lead Counsel in negotiations and mediations involving International Commercial
Partnerships, International Trade, and Environment. He has wide experience in
international negotiations with the United Nations on environmental and
developmental issues and has advised NAFTA's Commission for Environmental
Cooperation an international organization created by Canada, Mexico and the
United States. He has lectured in North America, Latin America and Europe on
the workings and effects of globalization, is the author of a textbook on
trade and the environment in North America, has edited a book on international
oversight of the implementation of the UN's Convention to Combat
Desertification and has published many essays on issues related to the
non-commercial side of globalization. He was founding member and Vice-Chairman
of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and chaired its
Foreign Policy Committee from 1990 to 1997. Dr. Johnson has an honorary
doctorate from Claude Bernard University of Lyon, France. He is a Fellow of
the Royal Society of Canada and a Grand Officier de l'Ordre de la Pléiade.
    Elizabeth Dowdeswell is currently president of the Nuclear Waste
Management Organization. She has had an extensive career in government,
education and international affairs and has been a member of numerous Canadian
and international boards, advisory panels and commissions. She has served as
Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme; Assistant
Deputy Minister of Environment Canada's national weather and atmospheric
agency (where she played a leading role in global efforts to negotiate the
treaty on climate change adopted at the 1992 United Nations Conference on
Environment and Development); Canada's permanent representative to the World
Meteorological Organization; principal delegate to the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change; Visiting Professor in Global Health, Genomics and Ethics at
the University of Toronto; Commissioner of the Commission on Globalization;
and Associate Fellow of the European Centre for Public Affairs. She is the
author of numerous publications in both the popular press and professional
journals.
    Ian Morton, founder of the Clean Air Foundation and Chief Executive
Officer of Summerhill Group, a Toronto agency that creates marketing
strategies to help clients move the market toward better choices for consumers
and the environment. He is a recognized leader on environment issues,
responsible for creating some of the most innovative and effective public
engagement programs on air quality, climate change, and healthy housing in
Canada. Mr. Morton has won several awards for his work and was recently named
by Strategy Magazine as one of seven marketing leaders to watch. He started
Summerhill Group in 2001, after 16 years of working for a variety of
environmental organizations. He brings an interdisciplinary approach to
problem solving, and combines science, business, economics, policy, marketing,
and communications in his strategies.
    Mary Simon, O.C., is the president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK),
Canada's national Inuit organization. She is also an international advisor on
the environment, human rights, scientific research and development, and peace.
Ms. Simon was the first Canadian Ambassador for Circumpolar Affairs during
which she negotiated the establishment of the Arctic Council, which today has
representatives from the indigenous peoples of eight countries in the
circumpolar region, including Russia. Ms. Simon has served as Chancellor of
Trent University, Chair of the Joint Public Advisory Committee of NAFTA's
Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Ambassador to Denmark, Councillor
for the International Council on Conflict Resolution with the Carter Center,
and Special Advisor to the Labrador Inuit Association during the preparation
of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement. Ms. Simon has been awarded the
Order of Canada, the National Order of Quebec, the Gold Order of Greenland,
the National Aboriginal Achievement Award, and the Gold Medal of the Royal
Canadian Geographical Society. She is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of
North America and of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society.




For further information:

For further information: Eric Richer, Press Secretary, Office of the
Minister of the Environment, (819) 997-1441; Environment Canada, Media
Relations, (819) 934-8008, 1-888-908-8008


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