Madrid, December 11, 2019 - Following successful meetings with other Canadian Ministers
and international leaders at the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations'
Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 25), Jeff Yurek, Minister of the Environment,
Conservation and Parks, issued the following statement:
"I would like to thank the representatives from Chile and Spain for hosting this
year's conference. COP 25 was a great opportunity for Ontario to demonstrate its
leadership in protecting the environment and phasing out coal, while engaging in
meaningful dialogue about climate change action with other jurisdictions and organizations.
I had the opportunity to join Patricia Fuller, Canada's Ambassador for Climate Change,
to provide remarks about Ontario's successful initiative to phase out coal and transform
our energy mix. This initiative made Ontario the first North American jurisdiction
with a significant reliance on coal to cease coal-fired power generation. It was
one of the largest completed actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in North
America - resulting in a total annual reduction of up to 30 megatonnes. This action
also contributed to reducing our smog days from a peak of 53 in 2005 to zero in
Throughout the week, I met with my provincial and American counterparts and industry
leaders to discuss our coordinated efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
share ideas on initiatives to help deliver on commitments under the Paris Agreement.
I also met with Canadian youth delegates to learn more about their ideas on how
we can protect the environment now and for future generations, and to discuss how
government can further engage youth as we work to bring forward innovative solutions
to address climate change.
Ontario leads Canada in greenhouse gas reductions. Our government is committed to
continuing to do our part to help Canada meet its target to reduce emissions to
30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Our ambitious Made-in-Ontario Environment
Plan outlines actions to reduce emissions, help communities and families prepare
for climate change and encourage all Ontarians to take meaningful action to protect
and preserve our natural environment.
I leave Spain looking forward to continued unity and cooperation with our partner
jurisdictions. Climate change is a global issue that extends beyond all borders.
Through collaboration with national and international leaders, we will continue
to fight global climate change and find effective and affordable ways to protect
our environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while ensuring Ontario maintains
both a healthy environment and a healthy economy."