Ontario Releases Ambitious Climate Change Action Plan

June 8, 2016

This morning, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne released Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan (the “Plan”). The Plan outlines how the proceeds of Ontario’s Cap and Trade Program – estimated at between $5.9B and $8.3B over the next four years – will be invested in a variety of carbon reduction initiatives to meet legislated GHG reduction targets (15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% by 2030 and 80% by 2050).

There are eight “Action Areas”, with estimated GHG reductions and associated costs per action item, detailed in the Plan:

  • Transportation: Becoming a North American leader in low-carbon and zero-emission transportation
  • Buildings and homes: Reduce emissions from fossil-fuel use in buildings
  • Land-use planning: Support low-carbon communities
  • Industry and business: Keeping Ontario competitive: A strong centre of modern, clean manufacturing and jobs
  • Collaboration with Indigenous communities: Partner to reduce emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy
  • Research and development: Focus on climate science and zero-carbon breakthroughs
  • Government: Move towards a carbon neutral public service
  • Agriculture, forests and lands: Productive, sustainable, and a pathway to creating offsets

The Plan is “about choice”, said Premier Wynne at this morning’s press conference. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray noted that the focus of the Plan is on “practical, ready, and off-the-shelf solutions to help cut greenhouse gas pollution now”. This includes the creation of a Green Bank to deploy and finance readily available low-carbon technologies to reduce carbon pollution from buildings, $875M – $1.1B to help Ontario industry transform their operations, and $140M – $235M to further develop the clean technology sector.

You can read the Climate Change Action Plan here.