Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger and their respective environment ministers signed a new memorandum of understanding (MOU) today to facilitate their intent to link the cap and trade programs in Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba under the Western Climate Initiative, further strengthening North America’s largest carbon market.
Five Canadian provinces, including Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and British Columbia, will now have some form of carbon pricing mechanism, representing 32.2 million Canadians, or 90 per cent of the population.
The MOU on Co-operation in the Area of Climate Change among Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba will lead to several other joint initiatives including:
- harmonizing greenhouse-gas tracking and measuring methods,
- adapting to climate change impacts,
- maintaining momentum toward meeting post-2020 greenhouse-gas emission reduction targets,
- transitioning to a low-carbon economy,
- increasing public awareness,
- recognizing the role of the federated states in the fight against climate change, and
- promoting intergovernmental collaboration in Canada and abroad.
This new MOU builds on The Declaration of the Premiers of Canada, adopted in April 2015 at the Quebec Summit on Climate Change, which recognizes the need to take action to transition to a lower-carbon economy. The agreement also follows the Climate Action Statement signed at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto in July 2015, which recognizes the importance of carbon pricing as a key strategy that could be adopted by the federated states to combat climate change.
Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are members of the International Carbon Action Partnership, which was designed to facilitate co-operation among countries, federated states and multinational institutions that have implemented or are planning to implement carbon markets. The three provinces have also signed The Climate Group Compact of States and Regions, which provided the first-ever global report-back on greenhouse-gas reduction targets made by federated states and regional governments.
“Greenhouse-gas emissions do not recognize borders, so climate change cannot be fought by individual governments alone. The new MOU on climate change among Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba commits us to collaborating on a broad range of initiatives including cap and trade, to address climate change and meet emission targets. We can accomplish much more when we work together – only through our continued co-operation can we succeed in building a sustainable and prosperous world for future generations.” — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario.
“Our three governments face similar challenges where climate change is concerned. We share the same conviction about the urgent need for action. In signing this memorandum of understanding, we are making a commitment to work together to expedite the transition to a low-carbon economy and support innovative solutions to achieve this. We are convinced that strong policies on climate change, including carbon pricing, will make it possible to protect the health and safety of our citizens and ecosystems, in addition to expanding economic activity and employment. We are agreeing to step up our efforts to develop effective, coherent policies that reflect a shared vision and objectives.” — Philippe Couillard, Premier of Québec.
“Climate change is the defining global environmental issue of our time and now is the time for action. We are joining in partnership with Ontario and Quebec to build a cap-and-trade system to seize opportunities to transform our economy, powered by renewable energy and the creation of green jobs.” — Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba
- Premiers Wynne, Couillard and Selinger signed the MOU while taking part in the United Nations’ 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) on climate change in Paris, France.
- The new agreement among Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba will build on existing joint initiatives between Ontario and Quebec including the Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Concerted Climate Change Actions and Market-Based Mechanisms 2015.
- Quebec launched its carbon market in 2013 before linking it to California’s in 2014. Ontario committed to linking its cap-and-trade program with Quebec’s in April 2015. Manitoba announced a new cap and trade program on Dec. 3.
- Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba account for 65 per cent of the country’s population and represent $1.156 trillion in GDP.
Read about Ontario’s leadership in fighting climate change at www.ontario.ca/page/climate-change.
Read about Québec’s leadership in fighting climate change at www.letsdoitforthem.gouv.qc.ca/en/.
Read about Manitoba’s leadership in fighting climate change at www.gov.mb.ca/conservation/climate.