In early 2015, a diverse cross-section of organizations came together to create a strong and unified voice to support carbon pricing and climate action in Ontario. The coalition agreed to a set of carbon pricing principles and to advocate for complementary climate policies in other key sectors of Ontario’s economy.
The mandate of the Clean Economy Alliance (CEA) is to support the development and implementation of an effective cap-and-trade program and climate change strategy and action plan that provides economic, social, health and environmental benefits for Ontarians.
The CEA will accomplish this mandate by focusing on the following strategic priorities:
Cap-and-trade puts a price on carbon pollution and is the centrepiece of Ontario’s climate change strategy. Ontario released its cap-and-trade legislation, Bill 172, and the accompanying draft cap-and-trade regulation in February 2016. The bill and regulation will enable the formal launch of the cap-and-trade program in January 2017.
Buildings and Energy Efficiency.
Energy retrofits are a carbon reduction tool that can immediately create jobs and generate savings for residents and businesses. Improving energy efficiency in homes and buildings is a crucial element of meeting Ontario’s 2020 climate targets. In February 2016, the province announced a multi-million dollar investment in energy-saving retrofits–$100 million for homes, $92 million for social housing, and $100 million for large industries and small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Long-term Energy Planning.
The global shift away from fossil fuel based energy is well underway, with investment in renewables surging as costs plummet. The Ministry of Energy’s review of the Long-term Energy Plan in 2016 presents an opportunity to further decarbonise Ontario’s electricity sector, increase the share of renewable energy in the province’s supply mix, and create business and export opportunities for the province’s renewable energy industries.
The way Ontario plans and permits development and protects natural heritage and agricultural land has enormous implications for carbon emissions. The coordinated review of Ontario’s land use plans (the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, the Greenbelt Plan, the Oak Ridges Moraine Plan, and the Niagara Escarpment Plan), to be concluded in 2016, will have a profound impact on how the region grows and whether that growth is consistent with the low-carbon economy Ontario aspires to create.
The transportation sector is responsible for more than one-third of Ontario’s emissions. Ontario is undertaking a massive public transit build across the province, electrifying the GO Rail network, encouraging municipalities to build active transportation infrastructure, and providing incentives to get more electric vehicles on the road. Public transit, active transportation, and electric vehicles have also been identified as areas of funding from the Green Investment Fund and cap-and-trade revenues.
The clean tech sector is an increasingly important area for jobs and economic growth in Ontario and around the world. Ontario can provide supports and incentives to finance, test, commercialize and deploy clean tech solutions and help position Ontario firms to develop the technologies and solutions needed to tackle climate change and adapt to its impacts.
Climate-friendly, Climate-resilient Infrastructure.
The impacts of climate change are already being felt in Ontario. The province’s aging infrastructure is underprepared for the extreme weather events that will occur more frequently with climate change. Ontario needs to plan for the future by building low-carbon, resilient infrastructure that helps our communities mitigate and adapt to climate change.
Other strategic climate change priorities as identified by the CEA and its Steering Committee.
Read our Terms of Reference here: https://cleaneconomyalliance.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/CEA-ToRs-May-2016.pdf