The GCCA opens its Montreal Secretariat - The International Civil Society is getting ready for Copenhagen

    MONTREAL, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Thanks to initial support of $300,000
from the Government of Quebec and start-up help from Montreal International, a
new international organisation for the fight against climate change was
created and is launching its Secretariat in Montreal.
    The Global Campaign for Climate Action (GCCA) brings together twenty of
the most important organisations from international civil society, including
OXFAM, WWF, World Council of Churches, Union of Concerned Scientists,
Equiterre, 350, Avaaz, Greenpeace, Global Humanitarian Forum, Global Call to
Action against Poverty, and the Pew Environment Group. This new organisation
will mobilize civil society and national public opinion in order to obtain an
ambitious, fair and binding international agreement at the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change which will be held December 7-18, 2009. The GCCA
advocates much needed deep and immediate change in order to avoid the worst
impacts of climate change. The GCCA will also be launching a series of public
actions in the next few months which aim to mobilize a vast number of people
all over the world.
    "I wish to thank the Government of Quebec and its Minister for the
Environment who, from the get-go, believed in this project and supported it as
early as December of 2007, in Bali", declared Steven Guilbeault, Treasurer and
Founder of the GCCA and Co-founder of Equiterre. "The response from
international civil society shows that the Government of Quebec and Montreal
International were right to support us. Now, the vision of a world more
respectful of the environment, fairer, and more prosperous will be spread from
Montreal, thanks to the GCCA's International Secretariat. This is no small
matter. In Quebec, civil society and its government are putting words into
action. The same goes for the civil society all across our nation. Moreover,
the complex question of global warming requires concerted action from the
international community. We intend to demonstrate that here and abroad, the
population at large wants to take full responsibility for its future and to
take action."
    The monies donated by the Government of Quebec in Bali have since grown
substantially. The mobilization of international civil society is such that
the GCCA now disposes of several millions of dollars for its campaign on the
international scene.
    "The Government of Quebec is proud to have been one of the first to
partner with this initiative, which is in line with the measures the
government is putting in place to increase the population's awareness of the
importance of acting in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The fact
that the GCCA's international secretariat is located in Montreal demonstrates,
once again, the resolve of the government and Quebec's civil society to be at
the forefront in the fight against climate change, in Quebec and also on the
world stage", said Mrs. Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development,
Environment and Parks.
    The GCCA has been making itself heard for some time on the world stage.
For example, in Japan, it supported the national civil society during the
consultations by the Japanese Government on the new Japanese targets for the
reduction of greenhouse gas (or GHG). More recently, in Bonn, during the
international meetings in preparation for Copenhagen, 500 people got together
supported by the GCCA to create a giant exclamation mark on the lawn of a
park, with the words "YES YOU CAN", a way of asking for a more binding, fair
and ambitious international agreement on climate change.
    "The City of Montreal is proud to welcome the headquarters of the GCCA",
declared Alan deSousa, member of the Executive Committee of the City of
Montreal and Responsible for Sustainable Development and the Environment. This
new organisation's decision to set up an office in our city reaffirms
Montreal's growing role as an environmental leader in on the world stage.
    "Montréal International is thrilled that the Global Campaign for Climate
Action has decided to set up its Secretariat in Montreal", declared Mr. André
Gamache, President and CEO of Montreal International. "The GCCA joins the
ranks of the 70 or so international organisations already headquartered in
Montreal and in doing so reinforces our region's prominence and influence on
the environmental scene, while contributing to Montreal's presence
    The most recent scientific studies indicate that the actual pace of
climate change exceeds all the worst-case scenarios prepared by the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). We have only a small window
of opportunity left to avoid the worst and to create a greener, more
prosperous and fair economy. From its Montreal office, this new organisation
will reiterate and amplify these messages.

For further information:

For further information: Jocelyn Desjardins, CIAC, (514) 604-6273; Dave
Leclerc, MDDEP, (418) 521-3911; Eveline Trudel-Fugère, Equiterre, (514)
605-2000; Darren Becker, City of Montreal, (514) 772-0122; Benoit Lefèvre,
Montreal International, (514) 987-9323

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