California Governor and Ontario Premier Sign MoU on Climate Change; Coordinating on Low-Carbon Fuel Standard
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on climate change. Under the accord, Ontario and California will partner to fight global warming by coordinating policies on low-carbon fuel standards. Ontario will require producers to reduce carbon emissions from transportation fuels by 10% by 2020.
In January 2007, Governor Schwarzenegger established by Executive Order a Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that requires, as an initial goal, a 10% reduction in the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) intensity of all passenger vehicle fuels sold in California by 2020. (Earlier post.)
Like California, Ontario is leading the way in recognizing that we must take action now to fight global warming and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. States, provinces, regions and countries must all work together to find solutions that both protect our environment and grow our economy at the same time. We need to engage all sectors of our economy, including international trade and encourage the best, brightest and most creative minds to work together to tackle global climate change.---Governor Schwarzenegger
Other highlights of the cross-border accord include:
Collaborating on energy efficiency programs;
Coordinating efforts to switch to clean energy technologies, promote green buildings and increase efficiency;
Working together on national, North American and international emissions trading; and
Exploring market-based mechanisms such as expanding the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative to encourage an effective carbon market.
Premier McGuinty and Governor Schwarzenegger also met at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, where they agreed to back promising new stem cell research that will help uncover new therapies for cancer.
The McGuinty government is investing $30 million to support the new Cancer Stem Cell Consortium, which will be headquartered at the MaRS centre. Working with colleagues in California, scientists in Ontario will investigate new therapies for cancer based on stem cell research. The Ontario Institute for Cancer Research will oversee the collaboration efforts.
Governor Schwarzenegger also spoke at the Economic Club of Toronto, where he received the Newsmaker of the Year Award, on the role of California in combating climate change, especially in relation to the auto industry.
Now, of course that got good reactions, and also some bad ones. For instance, there is a billboard in Michigan right now that is accusing me of costing the car industry 85 billion dollars because of our new emission standards. The billboard says: Arnold to Michigan: Drop dead. But the fact is that what I am saying is: Arnold to Michigan: Get off your butt.
In fact, California may be doing more to save US automakers than anyone else, because we are pushing them to make the changes necessary so that they can sell their cars in our Golden State. And if they are not willing to make the changes, we know someone will; Canada will, China will, Korea will, Japan will, Germany will, they all will.
... Now, do I believe that those standards in California will solve global warming? No, of course not. I think it will help fight global warming, but it will not solve it. But that is not really the idea, and that is not why we did it. What we wanted to do was change the dynamic.
...Now, even though when you look at the globe you see California is just a little dot, but when you look at the power of influence that we have as a state, we are the equivalent of a whole continent. California is sending the world a message. We are going to dramatically reduce greenhouse gases and carbon emissions. We are going to lead, and we are going to show the way forward.
...I believe that the developing world, just as it is leapfrogging expensive landline telecommunications with wireless telecommunications, will be able to leapfrog much of the environmental damage that built the industrial world. I honestly believe that, because the environment has become an economic priority as never before in history. When it comes to the environment, the economics are changing, the technologies are changing, the urgency is changing, and America is changing. Your neighbor across the border may be late in coming to the front, but we are coming. And when we arrive, what we have lost in time we will make up in action, in spirit, and in strength.