Quebec’s commitment to provide $25 million dollars over the next five years to vulnerable nations to help them mitigate and adapt to climate change represents a leap forward in the role provinces play in addressing this international issue. At a press conference today at the United National Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris, premier Phillipe Couillard announced that La Belle Province will provide $18 million in mitigation support and $8 million dollars in adaptation funding along with $1.5 million to engage youth on the issue of climate change.

“This is a major leap forward for a province that has a long history of climate leadership,” said Ian Bruce, science and policy director for the David Suzuki Foundation. “Quebec’s willingness to act on climate change internationally, both in their cap-and-trade market with California and now through this financial commitment, should be a signal to the rest of the world that some provinces are showing leadership on climate change.”

Quebec’s past actions, particularly its partnership with the State of California, have inspired other provinces to step up their own solutions. Ontario is in the process of creating its own cap-and-trade system that will become a part of the Quebec-California carbon market and earlier this week Manitoba became the third province to commit to a cap-and-trade carbon-pricing plan.

“The Canadian delegation’s approach here at COP21 has sparked enthusiastic support from other nations,” said Bruce. “It is amazing to see the province of Quebec join the federal government in providing critical funding to the nations that are at the greatest risk due to climate change.”

The federal government pledged $2.65 billion in contributions to the United Nations Green Climate Fund last week, but is yet to announce it new targets for reducing carbon pollution domestically. So far at COP21 the Canadian government has pushed for the inclusion of human rights and indigenous knowledge in the Agreement being crafted.

Quebec has adopted the most ambitious target of any jurisdiction in North America with a goal of 37.5 per cent carbon emissions reductions below 1990 levels by 2030. However, they have yet to outline a plan for how this target will be reached. Quebec’s transportation section (representing over 40 per cent of total emissions) is one area where massive reductions are both possible and necessary. Promoting electric vehicles and public transportation infrastructure should be a central part of the plan the province produces.


For more information contact:

In Paris:
Steve Kux
David Suzuki Foundation

In Vancouver:
Theresa Beer
David Suzuki Foundation

In Montreal:
Manon Dubois
David Suzuki Foundation