Ontario is pausing efforts to reduce GHG emissions, the key to limiting climate change. Since its election Ontario’s new Conservative Government has:
- Abolished the “cap and trade” infrastructure that will reduce GHG emissions in time to meet Ontario’s reduction targets
- Promised to replace “cap and trade” “by a series of measures, including regulations, . . . avoiding burdensome costs on consumers and businesses”
- Declined to endorse Canada’s GHG reduction targets agreed to at Paris in 2015
- Expressed a preference for a less ambitious reduction target that would reduce costs to consumers and businesses, e.g.the target agreed to by Canada thirteen years ago
- Promised to fight a Federal Government tax on fossil fuels consumed in Ontario, a tax which will come into effect as the Province has not set GHG reduction targets. [N.B. The Federal Government will remit all moneys collected from the tax to taxpayers resident in Ontario]
- Renamed the environmental ministry by omitting “climate change” from the Ministry’s title
The previous Government published information on climate change and policies required to reduce GHG emissions. This information is still available on Government websites, all of which now have a disclaimer that reads:
Apparently the Conservative Government failed to analyse risks that will result from unchecked climate change and how these risks could be minimized by reducing GHG emissions. Rod Phillips, the Ontario Environmental Minister, (picture above) defends this omission on the ground that “the best approach is to have a plan and then [bring forward] any targets as part of the plan.”
In summary, this Government has not formulated a plan for dealing with ” perhaps the biggest threat to confront the future of humanity today”. These are the words of Stephen Harper. Harper subsequently added:
“I think that most countries understand not just the question of climate change is serious, but understand that the price of having no effective environmental framework is already causing significant impacts and will cause greater impacts in the future.”
Harper recognized the magnitude of the problem over a decade ago! So did Peter Kent, the Minister of the Environment in his cabinet. Yet the Conservative Party is still struggling to find a solution to this threat at both the Federal and Provincial levels!
If your riding is represented by a Conservative, ask your MPP what steps the Government proposes to reduce GHG emissions. Explain that Ontario needs a comprehensive plan now. You can also point out that the cancellation of renewable energy projects could have a significant impact on Ontario’s economy.