Statement from Environmental Defence’s Programs Director Keith Brooks on Ontario’s insufficient new climate change plan

Toronto, Ont. – Ontario’s new climate change plan fails to give enough details on how exactly the province will actually tackle this critical issue, even as it acknowledges that the threat is real and that climate change is already costing Ontarians hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Most troubling, the plan adopts a weaker greenhouse gas emissions reduction target than Ontario’s previous one. It seems the province is walking away from taking serious action on climate change at a time when scientists say that targets must be strengthened to ward off dangerous levels of warming. Ontario’s new target means roughly 30 megatonnes more pollution in 2030, which is the same amount of pollution Ontario reduced thanks to the coal power phase out.

As well, the proposed program to cut pollution from large emitters is so short on details that it’s unclear how it will operate or how it compares to the federal government’s system.

Even if more details were provided, the province has missed the deadline set by the federal government for a climate change plan. Industry and all Ontarians need certainty. It’s time to accept that the federal carbon pricing system will apply in Ontario and move on.

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca) Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

-30-

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence; 416-356-2587; abraude@environmentaldefence.ca