Ontario has taken little action over the past year to fulfil the climate change promises in its Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan

Toronto, Ont. – Ontario Premier Doug Ford promised to fight climate change without a price on carbon emissions. In Failure to Launch: A Progress Report on Ontario’s Climate Change Actions, we review the province’s progress on this promise, and conclude that Ontario has taken no meaningful steps to reduce carbon pollution in the past year.

“We’ve looked at every proposed climate change action since the Made-In–Ontario Environment Plan’s release,” said Sarah Buchanan, Clean Economy Program Manager at Environmental Defence. “So far, Ontario has weakened the province’s targets to reduce carbon emissions, cut just about every program to fight climate change, and then failed to replace these programs with any meaningful actions.”

The Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan, released in November 2018, outlined the Ontario government’s action plan to fight climate change. The main proposals to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions include increasing the use of clean, renewable fuels, expanding programs to reduce natural gas consumption, implementing a system to reduce industrial carbon pollution, and creating an emissions reduction fund to leverage private investment in clean technologies.

Our analysis shows that the Ontario government has made little progress towards implementing these actions and meeting the targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions set out in their own plan, even after swapping in a weaker emissions reduction target for 2030.

  • The renewable fuel regulation has been significantly weakened and delayed since it was originally proposed by the province
  • There is no evidence of any efforts to expand natural gas conservation
  • Ontario’s proposal for industrial emitters is weaker than the federal system currently in place
  • The proposed emissions reduction fund is nowhere to be seen
  • Despite a heavy reliance on electric vehicle (EV) uptake in Ontario’s plan,  the government cancelled all programs to support their adoption and EV sales have declined dramatically
  • The province has yet to identify what actions will deliver the substantial emissions reductions from the vaguely defined category of “innovation” contained in the province’s plan

“The province needs to act quickly and decisively to get back on track when the government returns to the Legislature this fall,” added Sarah Buchanan. “The world is demanding climate action. Tens of thousands of Ontarians took to the streets recently to call on governments to address the climate crisis. But Ontario’s leaders have effectively ignored this crisis in the hopes that someone else will fix it. Without accelerated action, Ontario’s promise to reduce carbon pollution without a price on carbon is meaningless.”

The full report can be accessed here.

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Sarah Jamal, sjamal@environmentaldefence.ca