25,000 Ontario jobs could be created by 2025 by energy conservation: report

Wednesday August 28, 2013
Written by Manufacturing AUTOMATION
By reducing its energy use 25 per cent by 2025, Ontario is poised to create 25,000 new jobs in the province, says Blue Green Canada's report, "More Jobs, Less Pollution." Based on work from Ontario economic experts at the Centre for Spatial Economics, a 25 per cent reduction in energy use by 2025 would also result in a $3.7 billion increase in GDP, as well as a provincial and federal deficit reduction of nearly $2 billion. As the province faces key decisions about how to meet its energy needs, Blue Green Canada is recommending Ontario look to conservation before approving new generation as a means to create jobs and grow the economy while ensuring the health of Ontarians is protected. "Saving energy can put people to work doing things like building windows and doors, making our homes more efficient and designing new, green buildings. It's not just good energy policy; it's good economic policy," said Mark Rowlinson of United Steelworkers. "Ontario needs to catch up to leading jurisdictions by making this a priority. And with smart policy, we can make sure the jobs are retained in the province." Implementing these targets will result in a 1.6 per cent increase in growth for Ontario's manufacturing sector, with paper and allied products and primary metals seeing the greatest benefit. As well, greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by 19 million tonnes, more than the total emissions from the Nanticoke coal plant when it was running at full capacity. "This report comes as government is deciding what role conservation will play in the province's energy plan, and shows that acting aggressively to cut energy waste is good for the economy and our environment," said Gillian McEachern of Environmental Defence. "Energy conservation is by far the cheapest way to reduce carbon pollution and should be a priority in our fight against climate change." "According to our recent polling, eight out of 10 Ontarians rank conservation as a 'top or high' priority of any long-term energy plan," said Merran Smith, of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. "The people are already on-side; it's up to government to make it happen with supportive policy." The report also recommends that the province set an ambitious energy conservation target in its energy plan, develop a strategy to harness the jobs and economic benefits of conservation, and put in place the right financial signals for industry, businesses and homeowners to save energy. The full report is available for download at http://bluegreencanada.ca/more-jobs-less-pollution.

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