Ontario Releases New Climate Change Strategy
Province Charts Course to a Prosperous, Low-Carbon Future
Ontario took the next step in the fight against climate change today by releasing the province's Climate Change Strategy. The strategy lays out the government's vision for securing a healthy, clean and prosperous low-carbon future by transforming the way we live, move, work and adapt to our environment.
The strategy also supports Ontario's proposed cap and trade program, which will help Ontario meet its emissions reduction targets, reward innovative companies and ensure that households and businesses thrive as the province transitions to a low-carbon economy.
Ontario's Climate Change Strategy outlines the steps the government will take, including:
- Introducing climate legislation that, if passed, would establish a long-term framework for action and make the cap and trade program law in Ontario.
- Integrating climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations into government decision-making and infrastructure planning.
- Introducing changes to government operations, procurement, employee training, building retrofits and in other areas to help government move towards carbon neutrality.
- Developing a coordinated approach to reduce emissions from new and existing buildings.
- Reducing emissions from transportation by promoting the uptake of zero emission and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The government will also release a detailed five-year action plan in 2016, which will include specific commitments to meet near-term 2020 emissions reduction targets, and establish the framework necessary to meet targets for 2030 and 2050. The government will report on, and renew, its action plan every five years.
The Ontario Climate Change Strategy builds on Ontario's leadership in the fight against climate change, including setting a 2030 mid-term target for greenhouse gas pollution reduction, hosting the successful Climate Summit of the Americas in July 2015, working with industry and other partners on the design of a cap and trade program, ending coal-fired electricity generation, and electrifying and improving Ontario's commuter rail network.
Premier Kathleen Wynne will promote Ontario's leadership and success in climate change action when she joins the Prime Minister and Canada's Premiers at COP21 in Paris next week.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while supporting growth, efficiency and productivity is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Combatting climate change creates new economic opportunities in renewable energy and clean technologies. Ontario's environmental and clean technology sector has 3,000 firms, employs 65,000 people, and is worth an estimated $8 billion in annual revenues and $1 billion in export earnings.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, every $100 million invested in Ontario in climate-related technologies is estimated to increase GDP by $107 million and create 1,400 new jobs.
- Ontario has the fastest-growing cleantech sector in Canada.
- In just 10 years, the province has become a North American leader in the development, use and manufacturing of clean energy.
- A Canada 2020 poll shows that 84 per cent of Canadians believe that prosperous countries such as Canada have an obligation to show international leadership in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
- In May 2015, Ontario became the first province in Canada to set a mid-term greenhouse gas pollution reduction target of 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
“From ending dirty coal to putting a price on carbon, Ontario is a North American leader in the fight against climate change. Our Climate Change Strategy is the next step towards creating a more prosperous low-carbon province and a healthier future for our children and grandchildren. Subnational governments play a critical role in the fight against climate change — this is the foundation of our strategy and it is the message we’ll be taking to Paris for COP21.”
“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and our future depends on the choices we make today. It’s imperative we take action on all fronts to effectively reduce greenhouse gas pollution while building a stronger economy. If we do this together and do it right, we can ensure our future generations inherit an innovative, prosperous and sustainable province they can take pride in.”