VANCOUVER— The David Suzuki Foundation released the following statement in response to the agreement reached last Friday between the governments of Ontario and Quebec to work together to fight climate change, improve the sharing of electricity resources and jointly assess the risks from the proposed Energy East pipeline.

“Ontario and Quebec’s agreement sets an example for Canada on how we need to come together to solve the greatest challenge of our time,” said Ian Bruce, Science and Policy manager for the foundation.

“This is an important agreement for climate policy in North America. By joining Quebec, B.C., California and other jurisdictions in pricing carbon pollution, Ontario is sending a powerful signal that a ‘wait and see’ approach to climate action is no longer an option,” said Karel Mayrand, the foundation’s director general for Quebec. “We look forward to seeing the details and timing of Ontario’s commitment and expect more provinces and countries to follow.”

“Putting a price on carbon pollution is one of the most powerful government incentives to encourage companies and communities to pollute less,” said Bruce. “Quebec and Ontario’s collaboration on pricing carbon emissions is a step toward real clean energy choices. We’ve seen evidence from around the world that these incentives work.

“Canadians are increasingly recognizing the value of pricing their own carbon pollution. B.C. and Quebec’s experiences show that it’s possible to shrink carbon pollution while growing economies,” said Bruce. “We’re seeing momentum growing across Canada for national action on climate change. It’s time for the federal government to follow the provinces’ leadership.”

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Background on increasing support for pricing carbon pollution

Leading global organizations, including the World Bank, the World Economic Forum, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, agree that a price on carbon pollution though a carbon tax or regulatory cap-and-trade system is the most effective foundation for climate change plans.

Seventy-three countries, 22 states, provinces and cities and over 1,000 businesses showed support for pricing carbon pollution in the lead up to the UN Climate Leadership Summit in Lima, Peru in December. Together, the governments represent 54 per cent of global carbon emissions and 52 per cent of global GDP.

B.C.’s carbon tax: reducing emissions, growing and diversifying the economy

When the B.C. government introduced the carbon tax in 2008, it laid out a path to fight climate change while continuing to stimulate a prosperous economy. Since the tax’s introduction, B.C.’s consumption of fossil fuels covered by the carbon tax has decreased by 19 per cent per capita compared to the rest of the country, according to Sustainable Prosperity. Meanwhile, B.C.’s economy outperformed most of Canada and attracted twice the national rate of investment in clean energy.

Media contacts:

Ian Bruce, Science and Policy Manager , David Suzuki Foundation 604.306.5095 (mobile)
Karel Maynard, Director General, Quebec, David Suzuki Foundation 514.998.5458 (mobile)