Ontario's Environment Plan

In November 2018 Ontario's Progressive Conservative government changed the existing 2030 target (37% below our 1990 emissions) to match those of the Federal government (30% below 2005).

The 2016 Climate Change Action Plan was cancelled and replaced by the Environment Plan (PDF) which apart from poor targets doesn't have many details.

They cancelled the cap-and-trade program (Bill 4, Cap and Trade Cancellation Act). This Bill repeals Ontario’s cap-and-trade regime under the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Act, which had established a successful “polluter pay” carbon pricing system that generated funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation.

As a result of Ontario cancelling the cap-and-trade program the Federal government implemented a carbon pricing scheme (starting in January 1, 2019). The Federal government claims that they are going to rebate about 90% of the moneys collected directly to Ontarians and that the majority will receive more than they will have to pay as a result of the carbon price. Details of how the rebate is to be processed are not available (as of late December 2018.)

Bill 34, Green Energy Repeal Act repeals Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which had been passed in 2009 to facilitate energy conservation/efficiency programs and the development of renewable energy sources

Bill 57, Restoring Trust, Transparency and Accountability Act amends the Environmental Bill of Rights and abolishes the independent Office of the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, which has existed for over two decades to provide oversight, transparency and accountability in governmental decision-making affecting the environment

Bill 66, Restoring Ontario’s Competitiveness Act would allow municipalities to pass bylaws that would exempt developers of commercial or industrial uses such as factories from a whole slew of regulations

Environment Plan includes these actions

  • Make climate change a cross-government priority
  • Empower effective local leadership on climate change
  • Support green infrastructure projects
  • Improve public transportation to expand commuter choices and support communities

and successes of the previous government:

  • Ontario’s private sector leads the country in cleantech
  • Government building renovations to save energy and money
  • City of Toronto Green Fleet