GUADALAJARA, Mexico – At the 2nd Climate Summit of the Americas at Guadalajara (State of Jalisco) Mexico, participating governments of Québec, Ontario and Mexico issued a joint declaration on August 31, 2016, in which they affirmed the desire to strengthen their climate cooperation, particularly by encouraging the implementation of greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade systems and by sharing information in this field and promoting these types of tools.
“In this statement, the signatories confirm that they will continue the joint development of their respective carbon markets in view of eventually linking them. I am delighted by the historic nature of this collaboration, which will contribute to strengthening a green, prosperous and sustainable economy in North America,” emphasized the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, David Heurtel.
During the Summit, Minister Heurtel spoke at both the session dealing with climate legislation in North America and the plenary session for ministers in attendance, where he made the case for the efficiency of cap-and-trade in reaching GHG emission reduction targets and generating revenue to ensure the transition to a low-carbon economy. He also described new legislative measures proposed by Québec in favour of the electrification of transportation, which include the forthcoming Zero-Emissions Vehicles standard.
The Minister also met with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, to discuss the important climate change role played by states and regions. Minister Heurtel also met with the Governor of Vermont, Peter Shumlin and with representatives of California. Additionally, he had opportunities for discussions with his counterparts from Ontario, Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador. Finally, during the Summit, Minister Heurtel met with Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo (Deputy Minister of the Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico–SEMARNAT) as well as with the respective Secretaries of the Environment of the State of Jalisco and Mexico City, María Magdelena Ruiz Mejía and Tanya Müller García.
The vitality of the Government of Québec’s links with Mexico, where it has had an official presence for some 36 years, favours concerted action in the fight against climate change. During an October 2015 mission to Mexico, the Premier of Québec signed agreements with both the SEMARNAT and Mexico City. The current new collaborative initiative can be added to existing cooperation between Québec and the State of Jalisco, host of the Summit.
Between now and the Marrakech COP 22 Climate Conference, Québec will take part in a series of national and international events in order to showcase Québec initiatives, including the carbon market, and to reassert the importance of the often-pioneering roles played by subnational governments in the fight against climate change. As part of its efforts, Québec will chair the next meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment this October in Montréal, where discussions will bear on pan-Canadian framework guidelines for clean growth and climate change as part of preparations for the next meeting of First Ministers, later this fall.