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Executive Council
October 2, 2009

Premier Promotes Province and Makes a Mark at Climate Change Conference

Promoting the province as both an energy warehouse and a jurisdiction finding innovative ways to deal with climate change, the Honourable Danny Williams today will conclude his participation in the Governors´┐Ż Global Climate Summit 2 - On the Road to Copenhagen, taking place in Los Angeles, California.

"I was so pleased to participate in this important and substantive event, that brought together elected officials, NGOs, industry executives, academics and individuals who are determined to see action now to deal with the global impacts of climate change," said Premier Williams. "I was particularly proud to share the story of Newfoundland and Labrador with the approximately 1,500 delegates who attended the Summit. Each and every time I have a chance to share with people the opportunities that abound in our province, I am delighted to be so warmly received and encouraged to see such overwhelming interest in what we have to offer. The interest that was generated by my simply telling what we have to offer was outstanding, and reflective of the attractiveness of our province as not only as a place to invest but also as an agent for both innovative and existing solutions to global climate change issues."

Premier Williams was a panelist at the plenary session, Driving Technological Innovation and Economic Growth, where he spoke of the province's Energy Plan and Climate Change Action Plan.

"There was a tremendous amount of interest in the Lower Churchill project, as it was recognized by many I spoke with as a phenomenal green energy project," said Premier Williams. "This hydroelectricity project is a simple, tried, tested and true technology for delivery of clean, green energy for North America. As well, people were impressed to hear of our innovative technologies at Ramea where Nalcor Energy is combining wind and hydrogen to increase renewable energy independence for remote communities. As well, I shared about our ocean technology and the incredible wealth of knowledge and international expertise that is being cultivated in Newfoundland and Labrador. We have a great story to tell as a province, and this Summit was an outstanding opportunity to put Newfoundland and Labrador on the map while at the same time providing myself and our team of officials with an opportunity to learn best practices on the critical issues of climate change."

During Premier Williams' panel discussion he highlighted the benefits of the Lower Churchill project including its green energy potential in that it will reduce gas emissions by 16 million tonnes, the equivalent of taking 3.2 million cars off the road and powering 1.5 million homes. The Premier also discussed the province's Energy Plan objective of using non-renewable resource revenues to fuel a future based on renewable sources of energy.

"When you tell people that our province has the ability to potentially have 98 per cent of our electricity requirement met by stable, clean, green, renewable energy - that gets their attention," said the Premier. "This is an enviable position to be in, to say the least, and we have an obligation to future generations to meet this goal as we strive towards a low carbon future. As a province currently heavily dependant on oil and other non-renewable resource revenues, we are a perfect global example of how we can use these revenue sources to combat climate change in a meaningful way."

The Premier also discussed among other issues: the province's Research and Development investments; the province's energy warehouse including substantial wind energy potential; and work being done at the Marine Institute.

Premier Williams finishes the Summit today by participating in a signing ceremony with Governor Schwarzenegger on the declaration which will be signed by several participating jurisdictions from around the world. The declaration reaffirms the declaration from last years' inaugural Summit and commits signatories to work together to deal with climate change in meaningful and substantive ways, while also recognizing the important role that sub-national governments play in the fight against climate change. This is in line with the recent New England Governors-Eastern Canadian Premier's (NEG-ECP) resolution on the role of sub-national governments. That resolution called on federal governments to be mindful of the role of states and provinces during ongoing negotiations of the next UN climate change treaty for agreement in Copenhagen in December 2009, and to work cooperatively with provinces and states in implementing effective solutions to achieve national obligations implied by the treaty.

For more information, go to www.governorsglobalclimatesummit.org.

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Photo: Premier Danny Williams signs declaration with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Governors´┐Ż Global Climate Summit 2 - On the Road to Copenhagen, which took place in Los Angeles from September 30 to October 2, 2009.

Media contacts:
Elizabeth Matthewss
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
andreanolan@gov.nl.ca

2009 10 02                                                     12:45 p.m.
 


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