Landmark Climate Statement Signed in Ontario

. . SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT . .

A news release from the Office of the Premier

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.

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Sub-jurisdictional leaders convene on stage at Ontario’s Climate Summit of the Americas. (Twitter image: @environmentont)

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.

Quick Facts

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.

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