Statement on the Ontario government’s speech from the throne

TORONTO, ON – The Clean Economy Alliance (CEA), a coalition of nearly 100 organizations, responds to the Ontario government’s speech from the throne. The Alliance says it’s time to implement the many commitments this government has made to move the province to a low-carbon future.

“It’s good to see that climate change is a key theme in the speech from the throne. There’s a huge economic opportunity associated with climate action, and huge costs associated with inaction,” says Keith Brooks, Programs Director for Environmental Defence. “That’s why it’s critical for the province to implement its many commitments to reduce greenhouse gasses (GHGs). It’s now time to roll out the programs that will actually deliver these reductions while creating jobs and benefitting the economy.”

“We’re glad that the speech explicitly referenced electric vehicles. EVs are one of the key ways Ontario can reduce emissions from transportation while at the same time optimizing Ontario’s clean electricity grid, and supporting the province’s manufacturing sector,” says Cara Clairman, President and CEO of Plug n’ Drive. “We look forward to working with this government on meeting their goals around electric car adoption.”

“Increasing investment in conservation for all customers, rather than generic rebates, is the most efficient and cost-effective way to mitigate rising electricity bills, in part caused by climate change,” says Julia Langer, CEO of the Toronto Atmospheric Fund. “The Ontario government has shown real leadership in addressing climate change and conservation must be a key focus.”

“The cap-and-trade program is the best way to reduce emissions for the industrial sector. We are pleased to see the government reaffirm their commitment to spending the proceeds from cap-and-trade on efforts to further reduce emissions,” says Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada. “We also encourage the government to put robust lifecycle thinking at the heart of these and other infrastructure investment decisions. Prioritizing lifecycle cost, as well as climate mitigation and adaptation considerations, will keep Ontario on track toward cost-effective investments in a low-carbon climate resilient economy.”

About The CLEAN ECONOMY ALLIANCE (CEA): The CEA is a group of nearly 100 organizations representing a broad cross-section of Ontarians that united in 2015 to urge Ontario to show 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.

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