COP21: first impressions

Being in Paris for COP21 is far from relaxing! I had no sooner arrived than I was participating in a meeting between Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, the Minister of the Environment, and Quebec civil society representatives on the scene in Paris. Academics, trade union members, environmental and international solidarity organizations, members of First Nations, municipalities, and companies all had the opportunity to listen to Philippe Couillard, but they were able to share their concerns with him as well.

The meeting began on a positive note with the announcement of the new Quebec-Manitoba partnership in the carbon market, Premier Couillard’s admission as to his lack of enthusiasm regarding the use of hydrocarbons, and Quebec’s commitment to financially support the fight against climate change being waged by the least advanced Francophone countries.

Development and Peace took advantage of the meeting to reaffirm the importance of prioritizing adaptation projects for countries of the Global South. Other organizations insisted on the need for transparency and the meaningful participation of civil society in free trade agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without which all negotiations on the climate are doomed from the outset!

Geneviève Talbot, Advocacy and Research Officer