Key People to Keep an Eye On

A follow-up to last week's who's who of important players at the UN Climate Change Conference

Sarah McGregor
Published: Wednesday, 11/30/2005 12:00 am EST

Gerald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal -- Montreal is a place that inspired countries to sign onto the United Nations framework to protect the ozone layer. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the UN Climate Change Conference on Monday, Mr. Tremblay says he thinks something just as historic could happen again when the conference ends Dec. 9. For his city's own part, Montreal has agreed to a 20 per cent emission cut by 2012 from 1990 levels. Mr. Tremblay explains strict environmental policies are necessary for cities because that's where the impact is felt. "Cities are the heart of economic development. Cities at the same time are fragile," he says. To illustrate, Mr. Tremblay pointed to the Canadian ice storm in 1998 that shut down small villages and big urban centres for days, suggesting that this is the type of extreme weather pattern onset by global warming. Mr. Tremblay is chair of the Fourth Municipal Leaders Summit on Climate in Montreal that begins Dec. 5 and finishes Dec. 7. The expectation is that international mayors will agree on a final declaration and that will be delivered to the negotiators of the overlapping meetings: the 156 signatories to the Kyoto Protocol (Meeting of the Parties, or MOP) and the 189 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Conference of the Parties, or COP).

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