Canada's Ontario disappoints with new climate plan

Canada's Ontario disappoints with new climate plan

Named The Ontario Carbon Trust, the new blueprint follows an Australian model to inject money into the private sector to promote green practices. For Ontario, that means a reduction in emissions from 161 megatonnes to 143 megatonnes by 2030.

"If all fossil fuel subsidies were phased out, global carbon emissions could be reduced by up to 10 percent by 2030", Liu said.

Environment Minister Rod Phillips will lay out the plan, which he says will be clear and achievable, at an event north of Toronto this afternoon.

Edger says the new climate plan fails to acknowledge that other economies are transitioning to cleaner technologies and there is a global market for low-carbon products and services worth an estimated $7.5 trillion a year.

The fund is to include a $50-million "reverse auction" that encourages businesses to bid on government contracts awarded based on the lowest cost per tonne of greenhouse gas emissions.

The government hopes its investment in helping companies to reduce their carbon footprint will "unlock" more than $1 billion of private capital for the same goal.

It will also encourage meaningful local environmental action through initiatives such as a new province-wide day of action to fight litter, alongside meaningful partnerships with organizations like Ducks Unlimited and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to fight invasive species and encourage conservation.

Keeping its commitment to the people of Ontario, the Ford Government has clearly expressed its intent to use every tool at its disposal to fight the federal government's plan to impose an unconstitutional and punishing new carbon tax in the province.

According to the Minister of Environment, Rod Phillips, "This plan strikes the right balance between a healthy environment and a healthy economy". On Thursday, the Ontario government unveiled the broad strokes of a different climate plan that does not include any kind of price on emissions. "This is not a climate plan".

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Phillips said he was "hopeful" McKenna and Trudeau would accept Ontario's climate policy and also said he hoped that the "dogma about having a carbon tax won't be as important" if the province can successfully meet its environmental targets. Ford fired the latest shot Wednesday, blaming the planned federal carbon tax for General Motors' plan to close its assembly plant in Oshawa, even though GM announced at the same time it intends to close four USA plants too.

When it files its factum with the Court of Appeal today, the province will set out the arguments it is making to challenge the constitutionality of the federal government's Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act (the carbon tax). "It contains solutions that will protect our air, land and water, reduce waste, address litter, increase our resilience to climate change and help us all do our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions".

"The Ford government wants to go back in time and they want to make it free to pollute", she said in the foyer of the House of Commons.

"It's really counter-productive in terms of our ability to proclaim to the world that we're a jurisdiction that "gets it" - that we understand where the future lies", she said. That is lower than the 37 per cent reduction under the previous provincial government, but is still in line with federal and worldwide goals.

Ottawa has long said that it would enforce a minimum price on carbon in any province that does not do so itself by 2019.

On Friday Ecojustice, the David Suzuki Foundation, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Northern Alberta all said they were applying to intervene to argue against Saskatchewan's position.

Asked Wednesday how the province can reduce greenhouse gas emissions without putting a price on carbon, Phillips responded with questions of his own.

"Nobody should ever say that there are no alternatives to carbon pricing", he said.

Premier Doug Ford's Conservatives cancelled the cap-and-trade system brought in by the previous Liberal government in July.

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