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COP28 : « We don't cannot practice empty chair policy, says Charette | COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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Quebec Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, must soon fly to Dubai.

The Canadian Press

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Quebec cannot allow one to be absent at COP28, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Dubai, even if the chosen location is questionable, recognizes the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette.

No question of practicing the empty chair policy, he pleaded in an interview with The Canadian Press published on Saturday, suggesting that he will not make any important announcements on site concerning future commitments of his government.

He will fly on Sunday to this petromonarchy of the Persian Gulf to represent Quebec for a week at the most important environmental summit in the #x27;year.

I admit that this is not the natural place to hold a COP, but we have no control over the choice of the place, he admitted.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">This huge meeting where States agree on targets and means to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is increasingly infiltrated by lobbies hydrocarbons and by large polluting companies, according to increasingly vocal criticism.

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COP28 takes place from November 28 to December 12 in Dubai .

COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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COP28: climate summit in Dubai

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FollowFollow< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Nevertheless, Quebec must be present in the negotiations as a federated state, because the commitments made there have consequences on policies and the action plans of the Legault government.

We cannot refuse to participate and exercise leadership during the official negotiations which will take place to sign important international texts. Despite the place which arouses little enthusiasm, we cannot afford to practice the policy of the empty chair.

A quote from Benoît Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">Prime Minister François Legault was supposed to go to this COP but ultimately gave up for security reasons following the start of the conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

It is therefore his Minister of the Environment who will meet his counterparts from other federated states, the Americas and Europe to discuss our respective policies.

On Thursday, he made it known that he wanted a clear plan to abandon hydrocarbons in an agreement at the end of the COP, with a precise timetable. A working document intended to be used in the final agreement currently proposes that States decide on a reduction or abandonment of fossil fuels, depending on what is reported by various media.

After having long sought, in vain, to recruit new partners for its main system for reducing GHG emissions, the carbon exchange, Quebec has chosen to change strategy, recognized Mr. Charette.

We have changed our approach, he commented. No more question, therefore, of wanting to increase the number of players at all costs.

After the withdrawal of Ontario in 2018, a new player should be added within one to two years to California and Quebec in this market, namely the State of Washington, if negotiations continue to go well.

It's going in the right direction, said Mr. Charette.

The carbon market is a cap-and-trade system (SPEDE) for GHG emissions rights between large emitters. The maximum ceiling decreases from year to year and companies are encouraged to further reduce their emissions and then resell carbon credits to other companies that cannot do so.

There are aspiring states that would one day like to join the carbon market, but the danger is twofold, explained Mr. Charette.

Firstly, we are not entirely sure of the reduction in emissions that have actually materialized in the states that are considering joining, whereas with California, the protocols are well established and we can do confidence in the partner, he explained.

Two, Quebec would increase its trade deficit since companies here buy more carbon credits to California that they do not sell.

So, the goal is more to seek out partners who want to buy our credits that we are able to sell, summarized Mr. Charette.

Remember that COP28 is part in continuation of the 2015 Paris Agreement, which aims to reduce GHG emissions in order to limit the global average increase in temperature to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius, or ideally 1.5 degrees. in pre-industrial times.

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