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Climate change is a global issue that requires collective and concerted actions. It is by working together that governments, industries, citizens, and all stakeholders will succeed in limiting global warming to less than 2oC above pre-industrial levels. The Government of Québec has chosen the path of mobilization and is committed to contributing to the global effort to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Québec is a leader at the international level and has been putting its expertise and best practices forward for over a decade within organizations, partnerships, and alliances that promote innovative and ambitious ideas and actions to fight climate change.

This international presence has fostered the emergence of a “climate diplomacy” based on an essential principle recognized in the Paris Agreement, which was signed in December 2015 and entered into force one year later: subnational governments are key players in reducing GHG emissions and adapting to the impacts of climate change.

In this context, Québec chooses to be involved in international organizations and collaborate closely with them to:

Share its experience, benefit from best practices at the international level, and collaborate with partner federated states and regions in the fight against climate change:

  • From 2015 to 2018, Québec was North America co-chair of the Under2 Coalition, an international network of subnational governments that works to implement policies to reduce GHG emissions to 80 to 95 percent below 1990 levels or to less than 2 annual metric tons per capita by 2050. Québec continues to sit on the Coalition’s steering committee. It also signed the Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under2 MOU) that gave rise to the Coalition, which is administered by the Climate Group.* Québec has been a member of the Climate Group since 2007. From 2012 to 2015, Québec co-chaired the Climate Group’s States and Regions Alliance, which merged with the Under2 Coalition when the later was created.

    In 2014, Québec also joined the Compact of States and Regions. This initiative by the Climate Group and the Carbon Disclosure Project provides a global picture of the efforts deployed by state and regional governments worldwide;
  • Québec joined the Network of Regional Governments for Sustainable Development (nrg4SD)* in 2010 and has been a member of its steering committee since then. This international organization has 50 members and is composed exclusively of federated states and regions. Nrg4SD promotes the sharing of best practices in the fields of biodiversity, sustainable development, and climate change adaptation. It also seeks to ensure that the commitments of subnational governments in these areas are recognized internationally.

    In 2015, Québec joined the RegionsAdapt initiative, the first global commitment to support and report regional climate change adaptation efforts at the regional level. The initiative is coordinated by nrg4SD and provides a platform for cooperation among regions with varying experiences and capabilities in climate change adaptation to assist them in drawing up adaptation plans;

    *These organizations are recognized as official stakeholders by the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • Québec is a member of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG-ECP). This regional forum for multisectoral cooperation and coordination is composed of five Canadian provinces and six U.S. states. Québec collaborates with its neighbours in implementing the 2017 Regional Climate Change Action Plan, which aims to reduce GHG emissions by 35 to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030;
  • In 2016, Québec joined the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification and wishes to increase knowledge on the impacts of this phenomenon within its territory and help coastal communities adapt to it.

Underscore its commitment to carbon pricing:

  • Along with 74 national and subnational governments, Québec signed the World Bank’s statement “We Support Putting a Price on Carbon”, which was presented at the September 2014 United Nations Climate Summit;
  • Québec joined the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition (CPLC), created by the World Bank in 2015 following the carbon pricing statement. The CPLC’s mission is to forge ties among leaders in government, business, and civil society in order to implement effective carbon pricing policies and mechanisms to fight climate change;
  • In December 2017, Québec signed the Declaration on Carbon Pricing in the Americas. The declaration calls upon member states and governments to implement this strategic economic and environmental instrument, which is central to fighting climate change. As a result, a cooperation platform was created within the CPLC to identify and foster opportunities to align carbon pricing systems and promote carbon markets in the Americas.

Share its carbon market expertise and know-how:

  • Québec has been a member of the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP) since 2008. It co-chaired the organization from 2014 to 2018 and continues its involvement within the steering committee. ICAP brings together national and subnational governments that have established a cap-and-trade system for emission allowances (C&T system) or are in the process of doing so. It facilitates technical exchanges on best practices pertaining to the design, development, implementation, and linking of C&T systems;
  • At the request of the World Bank, Québec became a technical partner of the Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) in 2014. Québec works with 30 countries to assess, prepare, and implement carbon pricing instruments to reduce GHG emissions by sharing its knowledge and best practices in this area;
  • At the request of the UNFCCC Secretariat, Québec also joined the Collaborative Instruments for Ambitious Climate Action (CI-ACA) in November 2017—an initiative aimed at supporting developing countries that are exploring the possibility of introducing carbon pricing instruments into their economies. Québec is currently the only federated state that is a member of this initiative;
  • Québec also collaborates with the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA), a non-profit organization devoted to establishing an international framework to facilitate the emergence of carbon markets around the world. Although Québec cannot be a full-fledged member of this association, since membership is reserved to private businesses, it works closely with it to organize UNFCCC side-events and participates in international forums dealing with carbon market mechanisms.

    By actively participating in these initiatives, Québec also seeks to ensure the sustainability of its carbon market and directly helps to establish best practices rules on C&T.

Affirm its commitment to renewable energy and clean growth:

  • In November 2017, Québec signed the Powering Past Coal Alliance Declaration, which brings together a wide range of companies, organizations, and governments united in their desire to take action to accelerate clean growth and climate protection by eliminating the use of coal in electric power plants and industrial production. All of the alliance’s partners have pledged to promote clean energy sources through their policies and investments, and to restrict funding for coal-fired power plants that have no CO2 capture and storage devices;

Make the most of its advantages in terms of transportation electrification and share best practices in that area:

  • In 2015, Québec was a founding member of the International Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance (ZEV Alliance), which aims to foster the adoption of policies and initiatives to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission vehicles worldwide. The ZEV Alliance currently comprises 16 governments, including those of Norway, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and a number of U.S. states, including California;

Answer the Paris Agreement’s call for international climate cooperation, set an example, and assume a leadership role among subnational governments:

  • At the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, Québec announced the adoption of three climate cooperation measures to support actions to combat climate change in Francophone countries most vulnerable and exposed to the impacts of climate change:
    • Québec consequently created the International Climate Cooperation Program (ICCP) (French) to support cooperation projects through technology transfers and capacity building between, on the one hand Francophone countries, and on the other, Québec actors in the fields of academia, research, and international cooperation, and in the private sector. To date, the ICCP has issued three calls for projects that will make it possible to carry out 37 projects in twelve developing Francophone countries. The program’s budget was increased to $30.1M in the 2019-2020 Budget Plan. The Québec government’s international mobilization efforts to foster climate solidarity were among the objectives contained in the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2020 CCAP), which ended on March 31, 2021. They are also found in the 2030 Plan for a Green Economy (PGE) and its implementation plan (IP).
    • Québec likewise intends to invest $4M in 2019-2020 to strengthen climate diplomacy through various initiatives:
      • Contributing to the UNFCCC’s Adaptation Fund and the Under2 Coalition’s Future Fund;
      • Developing international scientific collaboration through Ouranos;
      • Fostering the expansion of nrg4SD in North America;
    • Québec has also contributed financially to the Least Developed Countries Fund (LDC Fund), managed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UNFCCC’s principal financial mechanism. The LDC Fund is intended to support the preparation and implementation of national adaptation programs of action in 48 countries that are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Almost half of these countries are members of the International Organization of La Francophonie. Québec thus became the first federated state to financially support the GEF;
    • Additionally, Québec created the Youth Initiative to raise awareness among young people and strengthen their entrepreneurial and green economy skills. This initiative was implemented in collaboration with the Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec (LOJIQ) (French) and the Institut de la Francophonie pour le développement durable (IFDD).

Foster the sustainable and resilient development of Northern Québec:

  • As a northern and Arctic state, Québec also participates in discussions and contributes to global efforts underway to preserve the North, which is particularly affected by global warming, and to foster its adaptation to the changes taking place. Owing to the innovative sustainable development approach being implemented through the Plan Nord, the Québec government earned a seat on the Advisory Board of the Arctic Circle—the largest international dialogue and cooperation network for sustainable development in the Arctic.

Encourage the development of related strategic partnerships:

  • Chili: In December 2019, the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Benoit Charette, and the Republic of Chile’s Minister of Energy, Juan Carlos Jobet, signed a joint declaration (French) formalizing the desire of both governments to strengthen their cooperation on carbon markets, energy transition, and other measures to fight climate change.
  • Nova Scotia: Since September 2018, Québec has been sharing information and its expertise with Nova Scotia in conjunction with Nova Scotia’s establishment of a carbon market and that province’s participation in the activities of Western Climate Initiative, Inc.
  • Oregon: In May 2018, the Premier of Québec signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation with Oregon in the fight against climate change and share Québec’s carbon market expertise.
  • France: During the 20th Alternating Meeting of the Premier of Québec and the Prime Minister of France, held in March 2018, the Premier and the Prime Minister endorsed a roadmap (French) for the fight against climate change, as well as for energy, and sustainable development, and issued a mandate to the ministers responsible for its implementation.
  • Ontario: Québec has signed several agreements with Ontario on the fight against climate change, including:
    • An environmental cooperation agreement in October 2016;
    • An agreement on the harmonization and integration of the Québec, California, and Ontario carbon markets in September 2017.
      The Québec, California, and Ontario markets were briefly linked in the first half of 2018, after which Ontario ended its program and withdrew from the linked market;
  • Switzerland: In January 2017, the Premier of Québec and the President of the Swiss Confederation and Head of the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications signed a joint declaration (French) to increase cooperation on energy and the fight against climate change;
  • Mexico In October 2015, Québec and the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources of Mexico signed an agreement (French) to strengthen cooperation regarding the environment and the fight against climate change;
  • Pan-Canadian: The Québec City Summit on Climate Change was held on April 14, 2015 to which the Premiers of all provinces and territories were invited. At the close of this important meeting, the provinces and territories adopted a declaration reaffirming their shared commitment to the fight against climate change.
  • California: In 2008, Québec joined the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), whose objective at the time was to establish a regional carbon market. In 2013, Québec set up its C&T system based on the WCI’s guidelines, which it helped draft. It furthered its partnership by signing an agreement with the California Air Resources Board on the harmonization and integration of the two carbon markets, which have been linked since 2014. In 2017, Québec and California renewed their linkage agreement primarily in order to allow Ontario and other partners to join the WCI carbon market;
 Return to the page: 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan

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