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article imageOntario reveals climate plan — vows to meet Paris climate targets

By Karen Graham     Nov 29, 2018 in Environment
On Thursday, the Ontario government released a new made-in-Ontario environment plan to protect our air, land, and water and reduce litter and waste while lowering greenhouse gas emissions and helping communities protect themselves from climate change.
In a press release, Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation, and Parks said: "This plan strikes the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy."
The much-anticipated climate change plan called the Preserving and Protecting our Environment for Future Generations: A Made-In-Ontario Environment Plan - vows to meet the 2015 Paris Agreement targets by 2030, through a range of measures that includes a fund to spur private investment in clean technologies as well as the imposition of performance standards on large emitters, reports the National Post.
At a news conference at a conservation area in Nobleton, Ont., just north of Toronto, Phillips said Ontario has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent. As a part of the plan to reduce carbon emissions further, the Ontario government will commit some $400 million over the course of four years to the new taxpayer-funded Ontario Carbon Trust.
Ontario Carbon Fund
This will allow the government to work with the private sector on developing clean energy technologies. The government will also work with industry in developing performance standards for large emitters. “It’s a plan that makes a clean break from the status quo, and it’s a plan that balances a healthy environment and a healthy economy,” Phillips said.
“Our plan will encourage individuals, families, and businesses to take greater ownership of our shared environment while we work toward those shared objectives.”
Phillips noted the new climate change plan replaces the previous Liberal government's cap-and-trade system. There is no tax on carbon. During campaigning before the provincial elections, the Tory's repeatedly said that a carbon pricing system, which is a federal requirement, makes life unaffordable for families.
An interesting aspect of the Carbon Trust will be what is called a $50 million “reverse auction” that encourages businesses to bid on government contracts awarded based on the lowest cost per ton of greenhouse gas emissions. This carbon plan is based on Australia’s Emissions Reduction Fund to address climate change, but critics say it has allowed emissions to rise.
Additional features of the Made-in-Ontario climate plan
Other features of the new plan include monitoring sewage and pollution, province-wide litter pickup days, and conservation of lands and green spaces. The province also plans on promoting the greater use of electric vehicles, compressed natural gas in trucking and increased levels of ethanol in gasoline.
Under the Paris Agreement, signatory countries agree to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. For Ontario, this means a reduction in carbon emissions from 161 megatons to 143 megatons by 2030. Based on the 22 percent reduction already accounted for, Ontario is a mere 8 percent away from meeting the Paris target.
“The plan we have presented today is a sensible, achievable approach to do that,” he said. The public will have to wait and see how this new plan works out. The cap-and-trade plan dismantled by the new Ford government was actually successful in reducing carbon emissions.
More about Ontario canada, Ontario Carbon Trust, paris agreement goals, madeinontario, reduce emissions
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