State News

Climate Summit of the Americas results in landmark climate change agreement


Seated at the table for the July 9th’s signing ceremony (L-R): Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, and Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin.

On July 9, at the Climate Summit of the Americas meeting in Toronto, Canada, Governor Peter Shumlin joined 21 other states and regional governments in signing the first-ever Pan-American action statement on climate change. The Climate Action Statement highlights the urgency of combatting climate change, affirms that state, provincial, and municipal governments are leaders in achieving impactful global climate action, and acknowledges the need to work together to continue reducing greenhouse gas pollution.

“I am proud to join my fellow governors, mayors, and global community leaders in signing this statement of action on climate change,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Good climate policy is good economic policy, and Vermont is leading the way to a cleaner, greener economy as we transform the way we generate energy. We will continue to work with other regional and world leaders to deliver a sustainable future for our children and grandchildren.”

The Climate Action Statement signed today includes commitments to support carbon pricing, ensure public reporting, take action in key sectors, and meet existing greenhouse gas reduction agreements. The statement also calls for greater national action at the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Paris and builds on recent agreements, including the Under 2 Memorandum of Understanding, which Vermont signed in May. That agreement brought together international leaders from 11 other states and provinces, collectively representing more than $4.5 trillion in GDP and 100 million people, in agreeing to limit the rise in global average temperature to below 2 degrees Celsius–the warming threshold at which scientists say there will likely be catastrophic climate disruptions.

Vermont has been a leader in combating climate change and finding economic opportunity in charting a cleaner energy future. Since Governor Shumlin took office in 2011, Vermont has increased by ten times the amount of solar projects installed or permitted, more than doubled the Standard Offer program, expanded net metering more than sevenfold, helped bring down the cost of solar from 30 cents per kilowatt hour to less than 12 cents, and expanded wind generation from 30 megawatts to 119 megawatts. The clean energy economy in Vermont now supports over 15,000 jobs, and Gov. Shumlin recently signed legislation that will add an additional 1,000 jobs.

Signatories include Ontario, Canada; Quebec, Canada; Vermont, U.S.; Baja California, Mexico; British Columbia, Canada; California, U.S.; Connecticut, U.S.; Jalisco, Mexico; Manitoba, Canada; Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada; Northwest Territories, Canada; Pará, Brazil; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Washington State, U.S.; City of Burlington, Ontario, Canada; City of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; City of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; City of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Campeche, Mexico; Oregon, U.S.; São Paolo, Brazil; Yucatán, Mexico; and Whitby, Ontario, Canada.

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