Ontario's Climate Summit Lays Path for Low-Carbon Future
Pan-American States and Regions Lead by Example, Press for National Action
Ontario's Climate Summit of the Americas successfully wrapped up with major announcements that will advance collaboration between government, business and community on climate change.
One of the summit's key achievements is a Climate Action Statement signed by Ontario and 22 other states and regions, signalling growing Pan-American consensus on the urgency of fighting climate change ahead of the United Nations' Conference of the Parties in Paris later this year.
Other highlights of the two-day summit include:
- Keynote addresses by Al Gore, former vice-president and Nobel laureate, Felipe Calderón, chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, and Jerry Brown, Governor of California
- An announcement by IKEA Canada on plans to install electric vehicle charging stations at its stores across Canada this summer
- An announcement by CanSIA about a new solar task force that will bring industry leaders together to create a consistent and simplified solar electricity connection and metering structure across the country
- A climate science statement by leading climate change expert Gordon McBean calling for governments, industry and community leaders to make risk- and science-based decisions to limit global warming
The summit builds on the action Ontario has already taken against climate change including, announcing a cap and trade program to limit the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution, setting a 2030 mid-term target for greenhouse gas pollution reduction, ending coal-fired electricity generation and electrifying and improving Ontario's commuter rail network.
Fighting climate change is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Ontario welcomed over 30 jurisdictions to the Climate Summit of the Americas from July 7 to 9, 2015, in Toronto.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, each $100 million invested in Ontario in climate-related technologies is estimated to generate a gain of $137 million in GDP, $25 million in tax revenue and 1,400 new jobs.
- Signatories to the statement represent more than 20 states and regions with a combined GDP of $5.6 trillion.
“Throughout the Americas, provinces, states and cities are leading in the fight against climate change. Our transition to a low-carbon economy is creating more opportunity and security in people’s lives and the Climate Summit of the Americas was a great chance to build on the benefits of our subnational leadership. The summit also highlighted the need for greater collaboration and stronger action going forward. This is why the Climate Action Statement signed by 23 jurisdictions is an outcome Ontario can be proud of. On the road to the UN Climate Conference in Paris this December, the statement unites us and takes us a step closer to achieving the meaningful national commitments needed to avoid catastrophic changes in global temperatures.”
“The climate leaders who attended the summit made it a great success and set the stage for the next phase of action. Our Climate Action Statement recognizes the urgency of fighting climate change and working together to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The work we do today will help ensure a better world tomorrow and for future generations.”