An agreement signed between British Columbia and California that sets out joint action on climate change and Pacific Ocean conservation will result in unprecedented levels of co-operation between the two jurisdictions, Premier Gordon Campbell and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced today.

“This is an important step forward for our commitment to forge a Pacific Coast Collaborative, and I want to thank Governor Schwarzenegger for his tremendous leadership on tackling climate change,” said Premier Campbell. “This agreement affirms the partnership between B.C. and California and sets out an action plan that can benefit our economies, our climate, our ocean and our planet.”

 The Memorandum of Understanding on Pacific Coast Collaboration to Protect our Shared Climate and Ocean commits B.C. and California to work together to cap and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and collaborate on the innovation and implementation of clean technologies. It also commits to join with other jurisdictions to build a hydrogen highway from British Columbia to Baja California.

 “Premier Gordon Campbell has reached out to build cross-border relationships, and he has emerged as an important leader in North America who promotes collaboration and co-operation on issues that affect us all,” Schwarzenegger said. “Climate change and ocean health are issues that do not respect borders, and we must foster collaboration among governments, businesses, and citizens to address these critical issues.”

 The agreement provides for action on Pacific Ocean conservation, including the sharing of information about coastal and ocean resources and health; collaborating on best practices for the development, monitoring and management of marine protection areas; synchronization of environmental protection at Pacific ports; and stronger relations between existing sea-floor observatories such as NEPTUNE, VENUS and MARS (Saanich Inlet, Juan de Fuca tectonic plate and Monterey Bay, respectively).

 “Climate change brings unique challenges to coastal jurisdictions.  Our planet, our province, and our coastal communities depend on the health of the shared Pacific Ocean,” Campbell said. “By working in partnership with California and other coastal jurisdictions we can continue to lead in sustainable environmental management and improve the quality and impact of ocean research.”