Ontario unveils $400M climate change plan
November 29, 2018 – The Ontario government has released a climate-change plan that it says will lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce waste while keeping on target to meet Paris Agreement targets by 2030.
The province will invest $400 million developing green technologies with the private sector over the next four years using the Ontario Carbon Trust, which will be funded by taxpayers.
The plan replaces the previous government's cap-and-trade system and does not include a carbon tax. Instead, the Ontario Carbon Trust will include a $50-million "reverse auction" that will see businesses bidding on government contracts, which will be distributed based on the lowest cost per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.
"This plan strikes the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy," says Rod Phillips, minister of the environment, conservation and parks.
Ontario also plans to work with industry to create performance standards for organizations that emit large amounts of greenhouse gases. There is also a stipulation that Ontario's auto sector and other exposed industries may be exempted in the interest of competitiveness.
The plan also includes transparency measures to help ensure the public has real-time information about monitoring, incidents and enforcement activities, as well as promotion of electric vehicles and increased ethanol in gasoline.
The government is calling for local environmental action through initiatives such as a new province-wide day of action to fight litter, alongside partnerships with organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to fight invasive species and encourage conservation.
"Our plan will encourage individuals, families, governments and businesses to take greater ownership of our shared environmental challenges through real actions, big and small," says Phillips.
The Paris Agreement, developed to contain the rise in global average temperature within two degrees Celsius, stiuplates that emissions are reduced by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
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