Premier Wynne Represents Ontario at COP21
Premier Will Promote Province’s Leadership in Climate Change Action
Premier Kathleen Wynne will depart tomorrow for the United Nations' 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) on climate change in Paris, France.
While there, Premier Wynne will promote Ontario's subnational leadership in fighting climate change and expand the province's relationships with other jurisdictions. COP21 is an opportunity to continue working together across countries, states and regions to find innovative ways to combat climate change and encourage economic growth in a more sustainable low-carbon economy.
During the first part of the conference, the Premier will be part of the Canadian delegation, led by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Delegation members will attend meetings and events to demonstrate, on the global stage, that Canada is committed to fighting climate change. Premier Wynne will return to Ontario and resume her legislative schedule and other activities on December 1.
On December 6, the Premier will return to COP21, where she will highlight the work of subnational governments in the fight against climate change. Premier Wynne will build on the success of this summer's Climate Summit of the Americas, where Ontario hosted 300 delegates to advance subnational leadership on climate change. As part of the summit, 23 jurisdictions, including Ontario, Québec, Newfoundland and Labrador, California and Vermont, signed the first-ever Pan-American action statement on climate change, affirming that state, provincial and municipal governments are leaders in climate action and acknowledging the need to work together to reduce greenhouse gas pollution.
The Premier will return to Ontario on December 9.
Ontario has demonstrated its leadership by taking strong steps to fight climate change, including:
- launching a new Climate Change Strategy that sets a path for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050,
- closing all of Ontario's coal-fired electricity plants -- North America's largest initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- and becoming the first place in North America to pass legislation permanently banning coal-fired electricity in the province,
- announcing plans to develop a cap and trade program and the province's intention to link it with California and Québec under the Western Climate Initiative, and
- becoming the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas target to reduce emissions by 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Ontario's broad approach to fighting climate change is working -- based on the most current data, Ontario has exceeded its 2014 greenhouse gas reduction target. The province is also well past the half-way point to meeting its 2020 target of 15 per cent below 1990 levels.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting growth, efficiency and productivity is part of the government's 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.
- On November 23, Premier Wynne met with the Prime Minister and Canada’s Premiers to discuss the nation’s plans for COP21 and climate change action.
- Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray will attend COP21 from November 30 to December 11, 2015.
- COP21 is an opportunity for national leaders from around the world to work together to combat climate change by creating a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
“Responding to climate change requires the cooperation of all levels of government, and I am honoured to be attending the COP21 conference alongside the Prime Minister and my fellow Premiers. Greenhouse gas emissions do not recognize borders, so climate change cannot be fought by individual governments. Only through our continued cooperation can we succeed in building a sustainable and prosperous world for future generations.”