June 2, 2017 – In the wake of the announcement of the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate, the Gouvernement du Québec reaffirms its commitment to a proactive role in the global fight against climate change, which it sees as a unique opportunity to build a modern, low-carbon economy based on innovation, creativity and clean technologies.
A number of U.S. cities and states have said that they intend to pursue their commitments under the Paris Agreement. Just one example is the creation of an American climate alliance announced by the governors of California, Washington and New York.
Québec is one of the most engaged and ambitious federated states in North America on environmental matters, as shown by the Québec-California carbon market (soon to be joined by Ontario), the Green Fund, the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change, the 2015-2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan, the 2030 Energy Policy and measures for climate cooperation with developing countries. In recent years, Québec has also worked toward carbon pricing agreements with countries such as Mexico, Switzerland and China.
“We are obviously disappointed that the U.S. government is withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, but that will not discourage Québec from maintaining its commitment and staying focused on achieving our climate objectives. The Gouvernement du Québec is convinced that the strong global mobilization born of the Paris Agreement will endure despite the U.S. withdrawal. Québec has followed this path for years, forming productive alliances on climate with other subnational governments, notably in the United States, and we are more determined than ever to continue and deepen those relationships. We must act now. It’s about our future, our children’s future. Let’s do it for them!”
David Heurtel, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
“Despite the announcement by the United States federal government, we are pleased to note that many of our American partners have chosen the path of action on climate change, and we offer them our full collaboration. We believe that this new wave of mobilization will bring innovative initiatives to speed the transition toward a green, sustainable economy in North America.”
Christine St‑Pierre, ministre des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
•The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to limit global warming to under 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, while urging all countries to be more ambitious still so as to limit the increase to 1.5 °C.
•The Agreement entered into force on November 4, 2016 when the threshold was reached of ratification by at least 55 nations representing 55% of global GHG emissions. To date the Agreement has been ratified by 147 nations plus the European Union, and the number continues to grow.
•On November 16, 2016 the National Assembly of Québec unanimously adopted a motion to approve the Paris Agreement and formalize Québec’s commitment to contribute to global efforts toward reducing greenhouse gases.
Office of the Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie
Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change
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Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques