Ontario And Québec Continue Collaboration At International Climate Change Conference
Ontario and Québec continue to build upon their collaborative work to date, pledging to increase partnership efforts to fight climate change in Copenhagen and beyond.
At the international climate change conference in Copenhagen today, Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen and Québec Environment Minister Line Beauchamp outlined their plans for COP 15. They re-iterated that both provinces share common priorities and goals on the major climate change initiatives occurring in Canada.
The two provinces have a history of cooperation especially on shared priorities such as the economy and environment. In June 2008, Quebec and Ontario signed an agreement to cooperate on cap and trade as a means to address climate change. The same year, both provinces joined the Western Climate Initiative in partnership with a number of U.S. States, Manitoba and British Colombia to promote the development of a North American carbon market. In September 2009, they signed an economic agreement to boost trade and encourage international investment.
Ontario and Québec have been in step on climate change actions. Both governments have:
- adopted aggressive short and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets
- moved forward with legislation required for the development of cap and trade programs
- developed comprehensive action plans to fight climate change that include:
- Investing heavily in public transit
- Supporting development of electric vehicles
- Promoting energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy
- In Ontario, phasing out coal -- the single largest GHG reduction initiative in Canada
- In Québec, pursuing the adoption of GHG emission standards for vehicles.
"Achieving meaningful reductions in greenhouse gases in Canada requires the cooperative efforts of all parties - governments, communities, businesses and the public. Ontario is pleased to be working in close partnership with Quebec on several important fronts to help achieve the progress which our citizens expect." indicated Minister Gerretsen.
Quebec and Ontario also share similar perspectives on the role of sub-national jurisdictions as part of the next international agreement on climatic change.
"Given the combined size of the populations and economies of Québec and Ontario, initiatives taken by our respective provinces have a determinant impact on Canada's ability to respect its international commitments in the fight against climate change and to define 2020 objectives that are both ambitious and achievable." emphasized Minister Beauchamp.
For COP-15, both provinces agree they will continue sharing information and working jointly, where feasible, through their interactions with other conference delegations and in their respective conference activities.
- The two provinces are home to 20 million Canadians or two-thirds of the country's population. Together, both provinces are responsible for approximately 58 per cent of Canada's total GDP and more than 55 per cent of inter-provincial exports.
- Québec and Ontario account for approximately 40 per cent of Canada's 2006 total GHG emissions.
- Both are members of the Western Climate Initiative, The Climate Registry, International Carbon Action Partnership, and observers in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
- Both signed the Global Climate Solutions Declaration in November 2008.