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Rob Altemeyer, MLA Wolseley
December 5, 2005

United Nations Climate Change Conference

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Mr. Speaker, over the past week I was very pleased to attend, on behalf of our province, the United Nations Climate Change Conference and global negotiations happening in Montréal. To my knowledge, I was the only provincial or territorial-elected official at the event at this particular time. Of course, our Premier is out in Montréal right now continuing his leadership on this very important global issue. In particular, our Premier will be co-hosting a Climate Leaders' Summit with Québec Premier Jean Charest, happening in the next couple of days, and this event will bring together multiple provinces and states from subnational governments addressing the question of what our subnational government is doing to fix climate change.

Manitoba, I am very proud to report, is a global, not just a national, but a global leader in this respect. Indeed, at the opening plenary session of the United Nations conference, with 189 nations represented, Manitoba was singled out twice by opening speeches for the phenomenal work that is happening in our province. Some of these issues and opportunities would include clean hydro power developed with little or no flooding and in full partnership with local communities; wind power, another clean source and another 1000 megawatts which has recently been asked for by our government; incredible conservation initiatives are also underway; and, of course, geothermal heat pumps, ethanol and biodiesel all fit the bill as well. Benefits from this will be flowing to all parts of our province not just down in the south.

Local, national and international organizations are recognizing our leadership role. The David Suzuki Foundation, of course, has found that Manitoba's climate change plan is the best in the country. We also have gone from ninth to first in the national energy efficiency rankings. Just this past week, BusinessWeek magazine said our plan for climate change was the best regional government's initiative in the entire world. Mr. Speaker, our government is very proud of its record and equally excited about future opportunities to come.

Thank you very much.