At a summit in Quebec City today hosted by Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, most of Canada’s provincial and territorial premiers signed a pledge to work to accelerate the transition to a lower-carbon economy and strengthen cooperation between provinces on greenhouse gas reductions, among other commitments.
Today’s news of the Premiers’ pledge builds on a commitment made yesterday by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne that her province will join Quebec and California in a cap-and-trade carbon pricing system. Also, British Columbia premier Christy Clark—who did not attend today’s summit— yesterday challenged her counterparts to “meet or beat” her province’s carbon price.
The following comments may be attributed to Dan Woynillowicz, policy director with Clean Energy Canada:
“What a difference a few years makes; 18 months ago climate was a political third rail, but we’re now seeing some promising momentum. Ultimately we’re looking for action from all levels of government, but it’s very exciting to watch provincial leaders stepping up with commitments.”
“Putting a price on carbon pollution is an effective, proven approach and is fast becoming the new normal, around the world and here in Canada.”
“Between Quebec and Ontario’s cap and trade system and British Columbia’s carbon tax, we’re seeing how different approaches can suit different needs.”
“Pricing pollution helps level the playing field for the clean energy solutions needed to tackle climate change, and creates real economic opportunities. Last year investors poured US$310 billion into renewable energy—including US$9 billion here in Canada.”
“Premiers need to take today’s climate commitment and put it at the heart of the Canadian Energy Strategy they are poised to deliver this summer. At its core, a globally competitive energy strategy has to cut carbon pollution and unleash clean energy solutions.”