HALIFAX, NS, Aug. 9, 2016 /CNW/ - Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, and the four Atlantic Provincial Ministers of the Environment, Minister Margaret Miller, Nova Scotia, Minister Serge Rousselle, New Brunswick, Minister Perry Trimper, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Minister Robert Mitchell, Prince Edward Island, met and agreed to work together to accelerate the transition to a clean electricity future in Atlantic Canada and to enhance the region's capacity to plan for and manage climate risks. These efforts will support the Atlantic Growth Strategy by stimulating innovation, advancing clean growth and creating job opportunities for Atlantic Canadians.
Together they made the following statement:
"The Government of Canada and the Atlantic Provinces are focused on growing the economy, encouraging innovation and creating jobs while at the same time tackling climate change and protecting our environment. This is why we are committed to working together to build a clean electricity future for the region and to adapt to the risks of climate change impacts particularly as coastal provinces.
"To that end, Ministers agreed to work with their energy counterparts to advance work on regional clean electricity planning, building on work to date on the Atlantic Energy Gateway, and to identify opportunities to reduce emissions by key sectors, including transportation, built environment, industry, agriculture, as well as spur clean technology development in the region.
"Ministers also recognized the diversity of the provincial economies and the importance of ensuring that provinces have the flexibility to design their own broad range of policies, including carbon pricing mechanisms, to meet emission reduction targets, supported by federal investments in infrastructure, emission reduction opportunities and clean technologies.
"Atlantic Ministers are pleased to have the federal government at the table, ready to help us advance the clean growth and climate change pillar of the Atlantic Growth Strategy. A strong partnership is what we need to collectively meet our shared commitments on clean growth and climate change. We look forward to continued and strengthened collaboration as we work toward our common goals."
As outlined in the March 2016 Vancouver Declaration on Clean Growth and Climate Change, First Ministers agreed to position Canada as a leader in the global clean growth economy and committed to transition to a low-carbon economy through a broad range of initiatives—such as cleaner energy production, renewable and alternative energy, energy efficiency and storage, and carbon pricing mechanisms—adapted to each province's and territory's specific circumstances, and taking into consideration existing and planned provincial systems. Today's discussions are a step in this direction. They will lead the way to a cleaner future for how Atlantic Canada will advance the development of the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change, which is to be finalized by First Ministers this fall.
SOURCE Environment and Climate Change Canada
For further information: Caitlin Workman, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, 819-938-9436; Media Relations, Environment and Climate Change Canada, 819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free); Amber Nicholson, Prince Edward Island, 902-368-5286; Emily Timmins, Newfoundland and Labrador, 709-729-2575, 709-693-1292; Heather Fairbairn, Nova Scotia, 902-717-2151; Sheila Lagacé, New Brunswick, 506-470-9663