Ontario is already paying for the consequences of climate change, and the costs will only increase over time.
“Today’s report from the Environment Commissioner of Ontario is an admission that the Ontario government has failed to deliver solutions to address climate change,” says GPO leader Mike Schreiner. “Our identity as Canadians is threatened when warm temperatures melt backyard ice rinks and threaten our maple trees and maple syrup production.”
The government estimates that extreme weather events will cost Ontario over $5 billion per year by mid century. Last year, a report released by the National Roundtable on the Environment and Economy estimated that ignoring climate change could cost Canada’s economy $5 billion per year by 2020.
“For years, the Environment Commissioner of Ontario has said that Ontario has no clear plan to meet its own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says Schreiner. “Where is the political leadership to tackle this crucial issue that will cost Ontario billions if not addressed?”
The GPO believes it is unacceptable that the Liberal government did not post Climate Ready, Ontario’s Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan, 2011-2014 as a policy proposal, as required by law because of its environmental significance.
“It’s essential that the government consults Ontarians on the best climate adaptation strategies,” says Schreiner. “We can’t afford to waste billions on old infrastructure for a climate that no longer exists.”
The GPO also calls on the government to implement a job creating Green Building Program to help people save money by saving energy, reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and ensuring we have the right buildings for a changing climate.