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Notes pour une allocution du premier ministre du Québec, M. Philippe Couillard, à l’occasion de la séance d’ouverture de Climate Week New York 2014 – Leaders’ vision

The spoken version takes precedence.

Distinguished guests,

It is an honor for me to be here today.

Climate change is not fiction or a theory, it now affects our everyday lives. More
than ever, determined and concerted efforts are needed.


Québec co-chairs the Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, a group of
governments committed to working together to address climate change. The
Alliance currently includes 27 governments from all continents, and I want to
acknowledge the presence of 15 of them with us today. Together, members of
the Alliance govern 313 million people (2013) – roughly the size of the United
States) and represent some of the largest economies in the world. We have a
combined GDP of $9.7 trillion (2011) – representing about 11% of the global

We play a pivotal role because most policies, programs and legislation regarding
energy and the environment fall under our jurisdiction.

Québec is the 4th hydropower distributor in the world. Close to 98% of our energy
is produced through renewable sources.


Québec supports the World Bank’s Putting a Price on Carbon statement, and
started incorporating a carbon price into its economy back in 2007, with a duty on
fuels and fossil fuels.

By putting a price on carbon, we are sending a strong signal to businesses and
consumers. Now is time for business models to take into account the social and
environmental costs of their decisions. We should all consider this challenge not
as a threat to growth but as an opportunity to build - and profit from- a new, low
carbon economy.

En mettant un prix sur le carbone, le Québec transforme ce choix en une
obligation réelle et concrète, mais également en une opportunité d’accélérer la
transition vers une économie à la fois prospère et faible en carbone. Bref, une
économie du 21e siècle.

In Quebec, we are committed to reducing our GHG emissions by 20%, in
comparison with the 1990 level by 2020.

In 2012, we set up a cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions. The
revenues generated by auctioning off emissions units are used to fund measures
to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to climate change in Québec.

Since January of this year, the Québec cap and trade system has been linked to
California’s system and will hold its first joint auction in november.
This market—developed under the Western Climate Initiative—is the first in the
world to be operated by federated states in different countries.

We are convinced that other states and provinces will join Québec and California.
And we believe that the WCI and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will
strengthen their collaboration.

Québec co-chairs the International Carbon Action Partnership which is devoted
to helping link carbon markets worldwide. It works in cooperation with the World
Bank to develop these markets.

With the Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, we intend to continue our
efforts with purpose looking forward at the important United Nations Climate
Change conference that will take place in Paris in 2015.

We have a responsibility to others and to ourselves. This challenge must be met.
Our resolve will not waiver.

We are determined and will not be deterred because as President Kennedy said
about space exploration: "that challenge is one we are willing to accept, one we
are unwilling to postpone and one which we intend to win".


Online as of: September 22, 2014

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