Ontario releases new Climate Change Action Plan
June 15, 2016 | By MRO Magazine
Ontario is continuing to lead in the growth of the low-carbon economy with the release of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan, which will provide people and businesses with tools and incentives to accelerate the use of clean technology that exists today. Through this plan, the province will continue to reduce greenhouse gas pollution to fight climate change.
Building on Ontario’s landmark climate change legislation, the plan will ensure that proceeds from the province’s recently finalized cap and trade program are invested in a transparent and accountable way back into green projects that will help households and businesses reduce greenhouse gas pollution and save on their energy costs.
The plan outlines the key actions the government will take to combat climate change, create good jobs in clean tech and construction, increase consumer choice and generate opportunities for investment in Ontario, including:
- Establishing a green bank that would help homeowners and businesses access and finance energy-efficient technologies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution from buildings.
- Creating a cleaner transportation system by addressing greenhouse gas pollution from cars on the road today, increasing the availability of zero-emission vehicles on the road tomorrow, deploying cleaner trucks and making transit more available.
- Halting the ongoing rise in building-related emissions by giving Ontarians more choices, incentives and tools to make the right energy choice for their homes and businesses, by providing better information about energy use by buildings and homes, and making new buildings increasingly energy efficient over time.
- Making Ontario one of the easiest and most affordable jurisdictions in North America for homeowners and businesses to install or retrofit clean-energy systems like solar, battery storage, advanced insulation and heat pumps, while helping to protect and support low-income households, vulnerable communities and many renters from the cost impacts of carbon pricing.
- Supporting a carbon market that drives the lowest-cost greenhouse gas emission reductions. Actions in this plan, supported by cap and trade proceeds, will help business and industry make investments that reduce greenhouse gas pollution. This will help save energy costs, improve productivity and global competitiveness, and protect and create jobs.
- Working in partnership with First Nations and Métis communities to address climate change, with actions guided by Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and helping to build capacity in these communities to participate in the economic opportunities that may arise from these actions.
- Building on progress, leading by example and acting on opportunities to make government operations carbon neutral. Ontario will achieve this by reducing greenhouse gas pollution across our facilities, operations and procurement.
- Ensuring that natural, agricultural and forested lands are used in ways that are efficient, sustainable and enhance the removal and storage of carbon from the atmosphere while working with Ontario’s waste sector to leverage different practices and technologies to capture greenhouse gas pollution that would otherwise be released into the air.
The Climate Change Action Plan and cap and trade program form the backbone of Ontario’s strategy to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. The government will report on the plan’s implementation annually and renew the plan every five years.
The Climate Change Action Plan 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, ending coal-fired electricity generation, and electrifying and improving Ontario’s commuter rail network.
Fighting climate change while supporting growth, efficiency and productivity is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- Ontario expects to generate up to $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion per year in proceeds from its cap and trade program, which will be deposited into a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account.
- Every dollar in the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account will be responsibly and transparently invested into actions that directly reduce greenhouse gas pollution, create jobs, and help people and businesses shift to a low-carbon economy.
- Ontario intends to link its cap and trade program with Québec and California’s under the Western Climate Initiative.
- Ontario’s environmental and clean technology sector is made up of 3,000 firms, employs 65,000 people, and is worth an estimated $8 billion in annual revenues and $1 billion in export earnings.
Source: Government of Ontario – Office of the Premier