Ontario’s climate change plan
To the Editor,
Scientists agree – 2016 was the hottest year ever recorded. Whether it was higher costs due to a hotter summer or more severe flooding because of a faster spring melt, families and businesses – both urban and rural – felt the impact of climate change right here in Ontario. These same consequences are also being felt on a global scale. Recognizing this, governments, businesses and citizens from around the world are taking action to fight climate change by committing to significantly reduce the amount of greenhouse gas pollution we emit. As a green leader, Ontario is committed to doing its part.
Last fall, the federal government announced its plan to fight climate change that will soon see the entire country covered by a carbon price. Within that framework, Ontario is moving forward with our Climate Change Action Plan, which includes putting a cap on the amount of emissions businesses can release into the atmosphere. We’re taking this approach because it guarantees GHG reductions at the cheapest price possible for families and businesses, unlike a carbon tax scheme which would cost four times more without guaranteeing any reductions. Ontario is also reinvesting every dollar collected, allowing us to support up to $8.3 billion in green projects that fight climate change like transit, electric vehicle incentives and housing retrofits. These investments will help families and businesses reduce costs and make the switch to non-polluting choices easier and less expensive. This is a fair, responsible approach that has the support of third-party experts, businesses and other governments.
We know that the longer we wait to act on climate change, the more it will cost us. Canadian business leaders agree, recently penning an open letter to Prime Minister Trudeau calling the global shift to a low-carbon economy a “major economic opportunity and a vital environmental responsibility for Canada.” Being a leader puts Ontario in the best position for long-term economic growth, allowing us to benefit from the opportunities and new jobs that will come with this transition. Our Climate Change Action Plan will help us do that.
With national carbon pricing being the new reality, we’ve worked hard to lead from the middle ground, balancing the need for action with what’s best for Ontario families and businesses. Together with our Action Plan, we can make sure our children and grandchildren are poised for success in the new low-carbon economy.
Glen Murray, Ontario’s Minister
of the Environment and Climate Change