Landmark Climate Statement Signed in Ontario
Climate Action Statement Strengthens Collaboration Across the Americas
Ontario and 22 other states and regions have signed the first-ever Pan-American action statement on climate change. The Climate Action Statement highlights the urgency of combatting climate change, affirms that state, provincial and municipal governments are leaders in achieving impactful global climate action and acknowledges the need to work together to continue reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne led the signing today at the Climate Summit of the Americas. The statement includes commitments to:
- Support carbon pricing;
- Ensure public reporting;
- Take action in key sectors;
- Meet existing greenhouse gas reduction agreements.
Signatories include representatives of states and regions from across the Americas, including Brazil, Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.
The statement builds on recent agreements, including California's Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding, which stresses the need for immediate action to limit global warming to 2°C, and the Compact of States and Regions, which commits partner jurisdictions to annual public reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The statement calls for greater national action at the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Paris, and support for regional measures.
It also builds on Ontario's actions to address climate change, which include the announcement of a cap and trade program to limit the main sources of greenhouse gas pollution, the establishment of a 2030 mid-term target for greenhouse gas pollution reduction, the closure of all coal-fired power plants and the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario's history, which includes the electrification of the province's commuter rail network.
Combatting 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.
- Combatting climate change creates new economic opportunities in renewable energy and clean technologies. Ontario's environmental sector has 3,000 firms, employs 65,000 people, and is worth an estimated $8 billion in annual revenues and $1 billion in export earnings.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, every $100 million invested in Ontario in climate-related technologies is estimated to generate an increase of $137 million in GDP and 1,400 new jobs.
- A Canada2020 poll shows that 84 per cent of Canadians believe that prosperous countries such as Canada have an obligation to show international leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“Across the Americas, subnational regions like Ontario are leading the way on climate change policy. The Pan-American action statement that we signed today unites us and takes us a step closer to achieving a progressive agreement at COP21 in Paris. Together, we are finding innovative ways to combat climate change while driving growth in a more sustainable, prosperous and equitable low-carbon economy.”
“Ontario is proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with its Pan-American partners in leading and mobilizing global action on climate change. Our Climate Action Statement and the productive dialogue among political, government and business leaders at the summit demonstrate the tremendous progress in fighting climate change and the collective will to ensure our children and their children inherit a healthier planet.”
“More and more federated states are demonstrating their commitment to carbon pricing, in particular by using existing mechanisms. On the road to the Climate Change Conference in Paris next December, the summit in Toronto is allowing us to take advantage of conditions that are highly favourable to the success of such projects. We must continue our work to reach an ambitious agreement which will help limit the increase in global average temperature to under 2°C.”
“Newfoundland and Labrador welcomes the opportunity to strengthen collaboration with other subnational jurisdictions on climate change and thanks the Government of Ontario for convening this important event. By signing the Climate Action Statement, Newfoundland and Labrador is reiterating its commitment to show leadership in the fight against climate change.”
“Action by states is absolutely crucial and we have to mobilize together. That's the only way we're going to be able to change the direction of where the world is going. The stakes couldn't be higher and the hour is late. We know what we have to do and these jurisdictions before you are committed to getting it done.”
Edmund G. Brown Jr.
“I am proud to join my fellow Governors, mayors, and community leaders in signing this statement of action on climate change. Good climate policy is good economic policy, and Vermont is leading the way to a cleaner, greener economy as we transform the way we generate energy. We will continue to work with other regional and world leaders to deliver a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.”
“Participating in this group is very important to us as well as an important achievement since it gives our state the opportunity to restate our commitment towards fighting climate change on the long term.”
Aristoteles Sandoval Diaz
“Around the world, people are calling on their leaders to take climate action and the elected officials represented here are demonstrating the bold leadership we need. The Climate Action Statement will not only reduce emissions in the regions represented, but will inspire stronger federal action and bolster a historic agreement in Paris. I’m more convinced than ever that we will solve the climate crisis. Today's agreement, and the continued leadership of subnational leaders everywhere, is a crucial part of the solution.”
“We now have clear evidence of states, provinces, cities, and businesses leading the way on climate action and achieving strong economic growth at the same time. This Summit has been an incredible demonstration of this bottom-up momentum and should inspire more ambition by all on the road to Paris.”