Environmental Defence’s report card on Ontario’s new climate change plan gives the province’s efforts a failing grade

Toronto, Ont. – Ontario’s new plan to address climate change will do little to reduce the province’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is why Environmental Defence’s report card awards it a failing grade of two out of ten.

“Ontario’s new environmental plan fails to seriously address climate change. It’s weak on ambition, short on details, and is missing the rigour needed to make a meaningful dent in the province’s carbon pollution,” says Sarah Buchanan, Clean Economy Program Manager at Environmental Defence. “At a time when experts say much more action is needed to avoid the most devastating impacts from climate change, Ontario’s proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a mere eight per cent from current levels by 2030 is far from good enough.”

The report card marked the plan on its Ambition, Effectiveness, Resourcing and Equity & Affordability, and found it lacking on all measures. The commitments that were included, such as a program to reduce industrial emissions and a fund to spur clean technology innovation, are lacking sufficient detail to evaluate them. The government’s plan contains no incentive or rebate programs to help Ontarians, including low-income Ontarians who are hardest hit from the impacts of climate change. It also contains inadequate funding for climate change actions.

“Cap-and-trade raised over $1.9 billion in its first year for programs to reduce greenhouse gas pollution. The new climate change plan commits to spending only $500 million over four years,” adds Sarah Buchanan. “And there’s another problem. When the new government was elected, nearly $1 billion remained from cap-and-trade revenues. The plan spends half of those funds. So, where is the other $500 million, and why is the government silent about how this money will be spent?”

Review the report card here.

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.

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