(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario and 21 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.
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.
The statement includes commitments to support carbon pricing, ensure public reporting, take action in key sectors, and meet existing greenhouse gas reduction agreements.
Signatories include representatives of states and regions from across the Americas, including Brazil, Mexico, the US, and Canada.
“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,” said Paul Davis, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador. “By signing the Climate Action Statement, Newfoundland and Labrador is reiterating its commitment to show leadership in the fight against climate change.”
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.
“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,” said Al Gore, Former Vice President of the United States and Chairman of The Climate Reality Project. “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.”
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.