B.C. to participate in Toronto climate summit

VICTORIA – Environment Minister Mary Polak will be will sharing British Columbia’s climate successes with dozens of other national and subnational governments at the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto from July 7 to 9, 2015.

“This event is about jurisdictions in North and South America learning from each other about the best ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and I’ll be talking about B.C.’s proven ability to reduce carbon emissions while growing the economy,” said Polak. “Whenever I attend meetings like the Toronto summit, people want to hear about our revenue-neutral carbon tax. They also want to learn more about our carbon-neutral government program because B.C. is the only province, territory or state in North America to have achieved carbon neutrality, and we have done so now for five consecutive years.”

The Climate Summit of the Americas, which is being hosted by the Province of Ontario in advance of the Pan American Games, aligns with Premier Christy Clark’s mandate to the Minister of Environment to prepare for and position B.C. to make a meaningful contribution to international climate action prior to attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) in Paris this December.

To ensure B.C. remains a global climate leader and meets its 2020 and 2050 emissions reduction targets, the Province recently began developing a new Climate Leadership Plan. Over the next six months, British Columbians will have two opportunities to participate in shaping new climate policies in B.C. During the first 30-day opportunity later in July, people will be asked to comment on a discussion paper that considers ideas, values and priorities for the Climate Leadership Plan. The public will have a second chance to comment when government releases a draft plan in December 2015.

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