Ontario Liberals found to be violating own climate law

In her 2018 Energy Conservation Progress Report, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario directed criticism at the government for an energy plan that falls short of meeting emissions targets.

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QUEEN’S PARK, ON — The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario directed serious criticism at the Liberal government today for failing to have an energy plan that aligns with its own climate law.

“If we’re serious about climate change, then it’s time to stop patting ourselves on the back for phasing out coal and move onto other areas where we need to drastically cut carbon pollution,” said Green Party of Ontario Leader, Mike Schreiner. “It is shocking that the province’s energy strategy contradicts its climate change obligations.”

The Liberal government is not matching rhetoric with action. Transportation and building heating are still powered by oil and natural gas in the province, and under the Liberals’ watch, emissions are growing in these sectors.

“What is the point of having emissions targets if there is no plan for meeting them? What is the point of a vision without a roadmap?” said Schreiner.

The report also cautions that the government’s all-in commitment on nuclear could see Ontarians paying the price in the long run. The Liberal government appears to be abandoning renewables like wind and solar just at the time when prices are plummeting and advancements in storage are making these clean technologies more appealing.

“The future of energy is not outdated, overpriced nuclear. It’s disappointing to see the government continue down this path despite the serious environmental risks and huge financial costs,” said Schreiner.

The Green Party’s vision for Ontario’s energy system is to get serious about the transition to a low-carbon economy. This includes following the lead of forward-thinking jurisdictions by setting a target date for phasing out gasoline-powered vehicles, electrifying our whole transportation system, and looking for low-cost electricity options like importing low-cost water power from Quebec at one third the price to consumers.

Find more about our Green Vision for Ontario at www.gpo.ca/vision.