Premier Jean Charest recently announced that Québec and Manitoba will be the first two North American subnational governments to join the Territorial Approach to Climate Change, a new initiative promoted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The announcement was made in Brussels on June 26 during Mr. Charest’s official visit to Europe.
Extending over a five-year period (2008-2013), the Territorial Approach to Climate Change is designed to help regions in developing countries develop and implement climate change mitigation and adaptation policies. Supported by subnational and regional governments from the developed countries, the developing regions will benefit from transfers of necessary expertise and technology. Québec will thus be supporting the developing countries that are partners in this initiative.
This marks the first time that Québec has joined a UNDP initiative. Québec has extensive expertise in the field of climate change.
“Québec is a recognized leader in the fight against climate change. We have launched a number of initiatives in this regard, including amending the Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms to include the right to a healthy environment, as well as adopting the Sustainable Development Act, the Climate Change Action Plan, the Mass Transit Policy and the Energy Strategy. I am convinced that subnational governments can and should play a key role in fighting climate change,” said Mr. Charest.
Québec companies are also recognized for their related expertise, particularly in the areas of advisory services, greenhouse gas inventories, cartography, energy efficiency, reforestation and training. Participating in the UNDP initiative will serve to promote Québec’s expertise in the areas of climate change, human resources training, long-term capacity development and expertise sharing.
“Québec’s goal is to take part in international solidarity efforts, and the environment is a key part of those efforts since developing countries are more vulnerable to environmental degradation,” said the Premier. The Territorial Approach to Climate Change is one of several initiatives being organized in the run-up to the Copenhagen Conference, which will run from December 7-18, 2009.