News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

August 22, 2007

WESTERN CLIMATE INITIATIVE MEMBERS SET REGIONAL TARGET TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS


Eight States, Provinces Agree to Reduce Emissions by 15 Percent Below 2005 Levels by 2020

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – The eight members of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) today announced the establishment of a regional goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the West to 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
 
In February of this year the governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington created the WCI with a long-term commitment to significantly reduce regional GHG emissions thus lowering the risk of dangerous threats to the climate. Science suggests that this will require worldwide reductions between 50 and 85 percent in carbon dioxide emissions from current levels by 2050.
 
As part of this commitment, members of the WCI agreed to establish a Western regional GHG reduction goal by the end of August 2007 and design a multi-sector market-based mechanism, such as a load-based cap-and-trade program, by the end of August 2008 to help reach the goal. Each member will also participate in a multi-state GHG emissions registry.
 
Since February the state of Utah and the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Manitoba also have joined the WCI. All eight states and provinces jointly agreed to the economy-wide regional goal announced today.  
 
The regional goal reflects the combined impact of the individual GHG emissions goals that each WCI member has already set for itself and does not replace the members’ individual goals. WCI members will use the regional goal in the design of the multi-sector market-based mechanism. Other U.S. states, tribes, Canadian provinces and Mexican states seeking to join the WCI must have an economy-wide greenhouse gas reduction goal that is consistent with the regional goal, in addition to other factors.
 
Presently, four other U.S. states (Colorado, Kansas, Nevada and Wyoming), three other Canadian provinces (Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan) and one Mexican state (Sonora) are participating as observers to the WCI’s deliberations. Some of these entities, as well as others, may seek to join the WCI as full members.

“Today’s announcement is about individual state and provincial governments taking steps to deal with climate change,” Manitoba Premier Gary Doer said. “Manitoba’s participation in WCI builds on our climate change action plan which includes legislating Kyoto targets, setting a made-in-Manitoba vehicle standard, reducing emissions from our larger landfills, enshrining leading-edge green building and fleet vehicle standards and phasing out the last remaining coal-fired generation facility in the province.”
 
WCI members have also begun work on meeting the August 2008 deadline for designing the multi-sector market-based mechanism. All eight WCI members joined The Climate Registry, a GHG emissions registry consisting of more than forty U.S. states, tribes, Canadian provinces and Mexican states.
 
More information about the WCI, including the regional goal and how it was calculated, is available on the WCI’s Web site at www.westernclimateinitiative.org.
 
 
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The provincial government is distributing this news release on behalf of the governments of Arizona, British Columbia, California, Manitoba, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah and Washington.