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Ontario Releases Second Climate Change Annual Report

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Ontario Releases Second Climate Change Annual Report

McGuinty Government Making Progress On Climate Change Goals

Ontario is making significant progress in cutting its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to the Climate Change Action Plan 2008-2009 Annual Report released today.

This is the second annual progress report on the government's Climate Change Action Plan. The plan, released in 2007, set out a framework that demonstrated Ontario's leadership to reduce GHG emissions and fight climate change.

Over the past two years, Ontario has taken substantive actions that include:

  • Setting tough climate change reduction targets, in place since 2007
  • Phasing out use of coal-generated electricity - the single largest GHG reduction initiative in Canada
  • Investing $32.5 billion in 2009 in infrastructure which includes support for green energy and transit
  • Working with other jurisdictions, including Quebec and western provinces and states, to develop a cap-and-trade system that aligns with the American approach
  • Taking steps to permanently protect over 225,000 square kilometres of the Far North Boreal Region, important for its ability to absorb carbon, making it a globally significant carbon sink
  • Considering advice received from Ontario's Expert Panel on Climate Change Adaptation and building on existing initiatives to build a more climate resilient province.
According to the report, the initiatives already in place have the potential to bring the province 71 per cent of the way toward its 2014 GHG reduction targets and 56 per cent toward its 2020 targets. Initiatives, like the proposed cap and trade system, will assist the province in achieving additional reductions.

Last year, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario recommended the province take additional steps to be more transparent in public reporting.  The government responded by having the calculations and statistics in this year's report validated by a third party.  Ontario is the only jurisdiction to use a third party to validate its emission reduction forecasts.

Quick Facts

  • From 1990 to 2007, Ontario's GHG emissions rose 13 per cent; Canada's rose 26 per cent.
  • By 2007, Ontario emitted an average of 15.4 tonnes of GHG emissions per capita - the fourth lowest of all Canadian provinces.
  • If Ontario reaches its targets for 2020, Ontario's per capita emissions will fall to just over 10 tonnes per person - less than half of today's national average.
  • In 2007, three fossil fuels - coal, natural gas and refined petroleum products - were the source of 75 per cent of Ontario's GHGs.
  • Ontario's Climate Change Action Plan calls for reducing greenhouse gases by six per cent from 1990 levels by 2014, and 15 per cent by 2020.
  • The GHG reduction projections contained in the report have been validated by a third party - E.H. Pechan & Associates.

Additional Resources


“Ontario has been very proactive on climate change. We've made progress, but clearly we must do more if we are to preserve this planet for the generations to come. In Copenhagen later this month, I will be sharing with others the measures we are taking to lead the fight against climate change.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment

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