In early October, Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and Parks paid official visits to Paris and Brussels in the run-up to the UN Climate Change Conference in December. This initiative was aimed at promoting Québec’s positions on climate change and spotlighting the role of federated states and regions in implementing the decisions made in Copenhagen. Subnational governments can help meet greenhouse gas reduction targets by exercising legislative and regulatory powers within their areas of jurisdiction.
In France, Ms. Beauchamp met with Brice Lalonde, the French government’s Ambassador in charge of international climate change negotiations, and with Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of La Francophonie, with a view to strengthening alliances between Québec, France and La Francophonie prior to the Copenhagen Conference. During Premier Jean Charest’s visit to France last July, French Prime Minister François Fillon recognized Québec’s leading role in the fight against climate change.
In Belgium, Ms. Beauchamp met with Philippe Henry, Wallonia’s Minister of the Environment, Land Use Planning, Mobility and Transportation; Paul Magnette, Belgium’s Minister of Climate and Energy; and Luc Van den Brande, Chairman of the Committee of the Regions, which gives local and regional authorities a voice within the framework of the EU. She also held talks with representatives of the Climate Group, European NGOs and the European Climate Foundation.
An alliance of subnational governments, including Québec, is seeking to have their key role recognized in the text of a future UN Climate Change Agreement. Representatives of these governments are slated to meet at the Leaders’ Summit on December 15 in Copenhagen. “Subnational governments offer concrete solutions in the fight against climate change. Since the vast majority of related measures are implemented by local and regional authorities, it stands to reason that our voices should be heard in this process,” said Ms. Beauchamp.
Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs
Québec Government Office in Paris
Québec Government Office in Brussels