Ontario Newsroom

Ontario signs climate change declaration

Archived News Release

Ontario signs climate change declaration

McGuinty Government Takes Part In Governors’ Global Climate Summit

Ontario pledged its continued support for global cooperation in combating climate change yesterday. On behalf of Ontarians, Environment Minister John Gerretsen signed a global declaration in California at the close of a two-day Summit.

Organized by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governors' Global Climate Summit provided a forum for leaders from developed and developing economies to share ideas, problems and concerns on climate change.

Summit participants agreed to work cooperatively in developing climate change strategies that would benefit both the economy and the environment, and share information, best practices and technology. They also agreed to collaborate on efforts to reduce greenhouse gases from specific economic sectors (i.e. forestry, cement manufacturing and transportation), and help regions of the world adapt to climate change.

Attending the conference were members of North American and European cap-and-trade coalitions including the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), of which Ontario is a member.

Representatives from India, China, Brazil and other emerging economies played a significant role in the Summit.

The Summit was a precursor to the 15th Conference of the Parties to be held in Denmark in 2009, where a new agreement for 2012 and beyond will be ratified.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario has an aggressive climate change plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality. It also includes incentives for creating jobs for Ontarians in clean technologies. Ontario’s greenhouse gas reduction targets are:
    • Six per cent below 1990 levels by 2014
    • 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020
    • 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050
  • A cap-and-trade system is a flexible, market-based program with targets (caps) that increase and get more stringent over time. It facilitates reduction in GHG emissions by providing opportunities and incentives that lower the cost of achieving emissions reductions.

Additional Resources


“This declaration is a significant step in advancing a shared global vision in working together to mitigate climate change. Through input from our own industries and other jurisdictions, Ontario will build a cap-and-trade system that significantly reduces greenhouse gases and is compatible with existing and emerging systems around the world.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment



Environment and Energy Government