Ontario, together with California, Quebec and British Columbia, issued a joint statement on climate change today. The four regions are in Lima, Peru, this week for the annual United Nations conference on climate change.
The Joint Statement on Climate Change, announced by respective environment and climate change ministers:
- Identifies climate change as a serious environmental and economic threat.
- Recognizes the immediacy and importance of taking action now to stop irreparable damage along with the opportunity to create a new, low-carbon economy, generate jobs and improve productivity.
- Resolves to work together towards mid-term greenhouse gas reduction goals.
Both Matthew Rodriquez, California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection, and Mary Polak, British Columbia’s Minister of Environment, highlighted the role of the joint statement as a catalyst towards an international agreement in Paris next year.
The statement builds on the climate change Memorandum of Understanding signed by both Ontario and Quebec in November 2014. The agreement commits both provinces to collaborate on a range of measures, including exploring market-based approaches to reducing carbon emissions and fostering a strong, green economy in central Canada.
Recent action by the four jurisdictions on climate change includes:
- Ontario ending of coal-fired power generation this year, the single-largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative in North America
- California is ramping up its renewable energy sector to generate one-third of total power across the state.
- Quebec linked a cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowance with a similar system in California on January 1, 2014
- British Columbia’s broad-based revenue neutral carbon tax has reduced fossil fuel use by 16 per cent.