Mission to New York City

Premier Couillard promotes the carbon market and the important role of federated States in the fight against climate change

Québec City, September 22, 2014 - Le premier ministre du Québec et
co-président de l’Alliance des États fédérés et des régions du Climate Group, Philippe Couillard, participe à la 6e édition de la Climate Week–New York City (CW-NYC), un événement phare dans la lutte aux changements climatique regroupant des représentants de 125 pays. En plus de mettre en valeur le leadership du Québec et des États fédérés en matière de lutte contre les changements climatiques et de promouvoir l’implantation d’un prix carbone dans l’économie mondiale, le premier ministre a profité de sa première journée d’activité pour tenir des entretiens à caractère politique et économique.

Towards a low carbon economy

Mr. Couillard delivered a speech at the opening session of CW-NYC with the theme Leaders’ vision for a low carbon economy. The opening session was attended by a number of prominent personalities, including Laurent Fabius, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development of the French Republic, and Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. During this panel, the Premier emphasized the importance of implementing initiatives that will make it possible to green our economies and combat climate change more effectively. He cited the recent linking of the Québec and California carbon markets as an example.

“Québec has set ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets for itself that have created a precedent on the international scene. The successes of Québec’s carbon market, especially since its linking with California’s carbon market in January 2014, have resonated well beyond our borders. We are convinced that this type of system, which sets a price on carbon, will not only make it possible to strengthen regional cooperation and to fight climate change more effectively, it will also speed up the transition towards a sustainable, low carbon economy,” said Mr. Couillard.

In the afternoon, the Premier participated in the Global Solutions – Sub National Innovation session with Peter Shumlin, the Governor of Vermont, Eduardo Paes, the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, and Frank Jensen, the Mayor of Copenhagen. During the discussions, Mr. Couillard highlighted the essential role played by regional governments in the fight against climate change and the concrete actions that enable them to be genuine agents for change. In this respect, the Premier stressed Québec’s support for the World Bank declaration entitled Putting a Price on Carbon as well as for the international Compact of States and Regions, which will incorporate the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals of federated States and Regions and which will take stock of progress in achieving these goals.

The Premier reaffirmed Québec’s firm resolve to continue playing a leading role in the international fight against climate change during a private meeting with Climate Group CEO Mark Kenber.

Economic and political meetings

Mr. Couillard’s trip to New York City was also an occasion for productive economic and political meetings. The Premier, accompanied by representatives of Québec companies, first went to One World Trade Center to hold discussions with Patrick J. Foye, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, on possible business opportunities for Québec in light of the future infrastructure projects of the PA, which are estimated at several billion dollars. Lastly, the Premier participated in a meeting with Peter Shumlin, the Governor of Vermont, with whom he discussed common transborder issues such as energy and transportation.

Climate Week in brief

CW-NYC is an annual event organized by The Climate Group that brings together government, company and civil society leaders and representatives to discuss climate change issues, notably business opportunities arising from a low carbon economy. Some of the major international figures that will be attending CW-NYC this year include Ban Ki-Moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank Group, and John Kerry, the Secretary of State of the United States.


Harold Fortin
Spokesman for the Premier
Office of the Premier of Québec
418 643-5321

Guillaume Sarra-Bournet
Communications Counsellor
Direction des communications et affaires publiques
Ministère des Relations internationales et de la Francophonie
Téléphone : 418 649-2400 poste 57277

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