On­tario, Que­bec press for cli­mate change ac­tion

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - CANADA -

Toronto — On­tario, Que­bec and Cal­i­for­nia lead­ers joined to­gether Wed­nes­day to “light a fire” un­der their re­spec­tive fed­eral gov­ern­ments to step up the fight against cli­mate change. Canada’s two most pop­u­lous prov­inces are “fill­ing the void” left by Ot­tawa as they try to solve the prob­lem of ris­ing tem­per­a­tures, Que­bec Premier Philippe Couil­lard said at the two-day Cli­mate Sum­mit of the Amer­i­cas. On­tario Premier Kath­leen Wynne said she wants the fed­eral gov­ern­ment to “hear the mes­sage” that they can­not solve the prob­lem alone. Cal­i­for­nia Gov. Jerry Brown chimed in, say­ing Prime Min­is­ter Stephen Harper needs to “get on board.” Fed­eral En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Leona Aglukkaq is not at­tend­ing the meet­ing —she is in her rid­ing cel­e­brat­ing Nu­navut Day —but a spokesman said they are the first gov­ern­ment in Cana­dian history to achieve a net-re­duc­tion in green­house gas emis­sions and have done so “with­out im­ple­ment­ing car­bon taxes or car­bon-pric­ing schemes.” On­tario, Que­bec and Cal­i­for­nia are team­ing up on a cap-and­trade sys­tem in which busi­nesses have a green­house gas quota and are able to sell cred­its to re­ward ef­fi­ciency and in­no­va­tion. Couil­lard said Wed­nes­day that Que­bec had signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing to join Cal­i­for­nia and On­tario and other subna­tional states that “com­mits our­self to a very am­bi­tious set of tar­gets with only one ob­jec­tive: to keep warm­ing be­low or at the max­i­mum two de­grees by 2050.”

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