Coalition of over 90 groups welcomes the release of Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan

The plan will cut carbon emissions while creating jobs and catalyzing a transition to a clean economy

TORONTO, ON – The Clean Economy Alliance (CEA), a coalition of over 90 organizations, applauds Ontario’s ambitious Climate Change Action Plan to cut carbon pollution and invest in the jobs, technologies, institutions and infrastructure of a 21st century low-carbon economy. The Climate Change Action Plan includes key measures to help Ontario shift away from fossil fuels, including incentives for electric vehicles, retrofitting homes and buildings to improve energy efficiency, and offsetting natural gas use with renewable energy, including solar and geothermal technology.

“Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan is exactly what Ontario needs to cut carbon emissions and get this province moving toward a low-carbon, clean economy,” says Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “Carbon pricing is critical, but it’s not enough to tackle climate change in Ontario. Other regulations and incentives are needed. That’s why this Climate Change Action Plan is so important.”

“Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan positions the province as a world leader in fighting climate change. By committing to investing in programs that will help meet the province’s targets to reduce carbon pollution, the Climate Change Action Plan will lead to a better future that benefits all Ontarians,” Gray adds.

“The Climate Change Action Plan’s incentives for retrofitting buildings will put thousands of people to work while making Ontario’s buildings more efficient, more valuable, and more comfortable,” says Jay Nordenstrom, Executive Director of NAIMA Canada (North American Insulation Manufacturers’ Association). “And we applaud the requirement for a universal home energy rating, which is an effective tool to increase energy literacy. The Climate Change Action Plan will start translating energy use into market value.”

“Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan is putting the focus for change where it belongs, with businesses and individuals,” says John Gorman, President & CEO of the Canadian Solar Industries Association. “By empowering people and companies to implement changes in how they use and generate energy, the plan will allow more Ontarians to switch to sustainable and zero emission forms of energy like solar. Making these shifts will bring proven greenhouse gas reductions and green jobs to the province. The Canadian Solar Industries Association and our members are primed to help Ontarians make this exciting transformation.”

“The Ontario Geothermal Association (OGA) welcomes the Ontario government’s commitment to combating climate change through progressive measures that will help Ontarians make wise decisions about their energy use and carbon impacts,” says Jim Bolger, Vice-President of Waterloo Energy Products and Chair of the OGA. “The geothermal heating and cooling industry is in a strong position to provide reliable and proven solutions that will readily meet the indoor comfort needs for homes and buildings and – with the right supports – will significantly aid in meeting the province’s carbon emissions reduction targets.”

The plan also includes a strategy for cutting emissions from drivers by investing in electric vehicle infrastructure along with investments in public and active transportation, such as cycling, and helping trucking companies and school boards use cleaner fuels.

“Electric vehicles (EV) represent one of Ontario’s best opportunities to reduce emissions from transportation and at the same time optimize Ontario’s clean electricity grid,” says Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug n’ Drive. “We look forward to working with the province to assist it in achieving its ambitious EV goals and we salute Ontario for its leadership on climate change.”

Ontario will also offer programs and incentives for businesses to become more energy-efficient, encourage municipalities to cut carbon emissions and plan for smarter growth, and support the development of low-carbon technologies to attract new investment and opportunities in the clean economy.

“This action plan targets the key sources of emissions in Ontario: natural gas and transportation fuels,” says Julia Langer, CEO of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. “The key to its success will be supporting and involving citizens, businesses, and local governments in implementing the range of solutions and opportunities of the low-carbon economy.”

“Ontario should be commended for its climate action effort. The province has taken the first step to building a low-carbon economy by putting a price on carbon through its cap-and-trade system. Today’s Climate Change Action Plan is the necessary second step – it will increase the availability of clean energy technologies for both businesses and consumers, and bring with it the benefits of lower costs and lower carbon emissions for all Ontarians,” says Sarah Petrevan, Senior Policy Advisor, Clean Energy Canada.

The Clean Economy Alliance will follow Ontario’s implementation of the Climate Change Action Plan and continue to support improvements to the programs that will lead the province’s transition to the low-carbon economy.

About The CLEAN ECONOMY ALLIANCE (CEA): The CEA is a group of over 90 organizations representing a broad cross-section of Ontarians that was formed in 2015 to support Ontario’s leadership in addressing the crucial issue of climate change. The CEA includes prominent Ontario businesses, industry associations, labour unions, farmers’ groups, health advocates, and environmental organizations. The Alliance supports the Ontario government’s commitments to develop and implement a climate change strategy and cap-and-trade program. Its members recognize that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will bring many benefits, including cleaner air, improved public health, and more jobs and business opportunities in the clean economy.

-30-
For media requests, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell);abraude@environmentaldefence.ca