Provincial and Federal Governments to Cooperate on Addressing Climate Change

CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI — The Government of Prince Edward Island and the Government of Canada today agreed to work together on climate change. On behalf of the Government of Prince Edward Island, Premier Pat Binns and the Honourable Jamie Ballem, Minister of Environment and Energy, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation on Addressing Climate Change, with the Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, signing on behalf of the Government of Canada. Prince Edward Island is the first province to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal government since Canada’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol last December. Nunavut signed a similar agreement with the Government of Canada October 31.

“When it comes to climate change, cooperation is key, and that is exactly what this agreement represents,” said Minister Dhaliwal. “By pooling our efforts and bringing innovative ideas to the table, we are one step closer to reaching our climate change goals.”

“This document reflects our province’s continued commitment to efficient energy use and to environmental protection,” said Premier Binns. “We have already demonstrated that commitment in many tangible ways — through the North Cape Wind Farm, through Waste Watch, through buffer zone legislation and through our continued efforts to explore environmentally friendly energy sources. This agreement gives us further opportunities to move forward, both as a government and as individual Islanders, in this very important area.”

“I have been convinced all along that the best way to implement the Kyoto Protocol in Canada is through working very closely with each of the provinces and territories, and that bilateral agreements on cooperation and partnership with the federal government are the best way to ensure that actions are tailored to everyone’s specific circumstances,” said the Honourable David Anderson, Minister of the Environment, who is also a co-signatorory to the agreement. “I salute the leadership expressed by Prince Edward Island in signing such an agreement.”

“Climate change is one of the greatest environmental challenges we face, and it has the potential to have significant effects in Prince Edward Island,” said Minister Ballem. “We recognize the importance of taking action now to curb climate change. We are committed to continuing to work in cooperation with the federal government and Island businesses and residents to do our part to meet our climate change objectives.”

The governments of Prince Edward Island and Canada agreed to explore cooperation on renewable and alternative energy, including developing applications for wind- and hydrogen-energy technologies. Other priority areas also identified in the agreement include promoting energy-efficiency practices, assessing the impacts of climate change, developing adaptation strategies, promoting individual actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and maximizing reductions and removals of greenhouse gases in the agricultural sector.

The agreement recognizes the efforts of Prince Edward Island to meet its specific needs in addressing climate change. The Government of Prince Edward Island is currently developing a climate change plan that will recognize the fragility of the Island’s resources and suggest methods for ensuring the stability of those resources for future generations.

The Government of Canada has committed more than $3.7 billion to climate change programs and to the development of leading-edge technologies, including $2 billion in Budget 2003. The Government of Canada is committed to the sustainable development of natural resources — contributing to their economic importance and to a strong society and communities through knowledge, innovation, technology and international leadership.

For more information, media may contact:

Alexandra Muir Ghyslain Charron
Director of Communications Media Relations
Office of the Minister Natural Resources Canada
Natural Resources Canada Ottawa
Ottawa (613) 992-4447
(613) 947-8246
Sandra Lambe
Communications Officer
Environment and Energy
Prince Edward Island
(902) 368-5286