Ontario Releases 5-Year Climate Change Action Plan

Ontario’s recently created cap-and-trade program is just one element of the Climate Change Action Plan the provincial government just announced on June 8, 2016.

Building on Ontario’s climate change legislation, the 5-year plan outlines the key actions the government will take to combat climate change, create good jobs in clean tech and construction, increase consumer choice and generate opportunities for investment in Ontario, including:

  • Establishing a green bank that would help homeowners and businesses access and finance energy-efficient technologies to reduce GHG pollution from buildings.
  • Creating a cleaner transportation system by addressing GHG pollution from cars on the road today, increasing the availability of zero-emission vehicles on the road tomorrow, deploying cleaner trucks and making transit more available.
  • Halting the ongoing rise in building-related emissions by giving Ontarians more choices, incentives and tools to make the right energy choice for their homes and businesses, by providing better information about energy use by buildings and homes, and making new buildings increasingly energy efficient over time.
  • Making Ontario one of the easiest and most affordable jurisdictions in North America for homeowners and businesses to install or retrofit clean-energy systems like solar, battery storage, advanced insulation and heat pumps, while helping to protect and support low-income households, vulnerable communities and many renters from the cost impacts of carbon pricing.
  • Supporting a carbon market that drives the lowest-cost GHG emission reductions. Actions in this plan, supported by cap-and-trade proceeds, will help business and industry make investments that reduce GHG pollution, which will help save energy costs, improve productivity and global competitiveness, and protect and create jobs.
  • Working in partnership with First Nations and Métis communities to address climate change, with actions guided by Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and helping to build capacity in these communities to participate in the economic opportunities that may arise from these actions.
  • Building on progress, leading by example and acting on opportunities to make government operations carbon neutral by reducing GHG pollution across government facilities, operations and procurement.
  • Ensuring that natural, agricultural and forested lands are used in ways that are efficient, sustainable and enhance the removal and storage of carbon from the atmosphere while working with Ontario’s waste sector to leverage different practices and technologies to capture GHGs pollution that would otherwise be released into the air.

In addition, to help business and industry manage the impacts of cap-and-trade, through the action plan, the province will:

  • Support significant emissions reductions by large final emitters and small and medium enterprises by providing funds to offset the cost of low-carbon technologies.
  • Support research and development, clean technology clusters and commercialization and deployment of low-carbon technologies.
  • Provide transitional allowances to industry to help them transition to lower carbon technology while they reduce GHG pollution.

The delivery model will be finalized in consultation with existing utilities during summer 2016, with the goal of beginning to provide services in the second half of 2017.