The fourth Climate Leaders' Summit, organized by the Climate Group, was held on December 6-7 in Cancun, Mexico in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Conference (Conference of the Parties 16/COP16). Québec Premier Jean Charest was co-chairing the event with South Australian Premier Mike Rann.
The Summit provided an opportunity for the representatives of regional and subnational governments from around the world to present their climate change initiatives and commitments. Mr. Charest, who spoke at the opening ceremony, was accompanied by Pierre Arcand, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, who was taking part in various activities relating to COP-16 and the Summit.
"While some may see reducing greenhouse gas emissions as an obstacle to economic development, Québec sees this as an opportunity to speed the transition to a green and clean technology-based economy, which we see as beneficial in terms of jobs and prosperity. Québec's presence in Cancun demonstrates that regional governments do not have to wait for the signing of an international climate agreement in order to take effective action," said Mr. Charest.
In addition to Mexican President Felipe Calderon, the Premier met with various representatives of states and regions with which Québec has already undertaken collaborative initiatives aimed at implementing effective strategies in the fight against climate change.
The Government of Québec was also taking part in a round table bringing together the main partners in the EV 20 initiative with a view to discussing practical ways to implement electric vehicles by 2020. This initiative, which involves 20 city, state and national leaders, along with vehicle manufacturers, fleet owners and financial partners, is aimed at speeding development in the electric vehicle sector. Québec signed on to the initiative in 2009 during the third Leaders' Summit in Copenhagen.