Green Party of Ontario: Bill 4 is a giant leap backwards

The Green Party of Ontario made an official submission to the Environmental Registry of Ontario in the public consultation on Bill 4

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Read our full submission here

RE: ERO # 013-3738 Bill 4, Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018

Cap and Trade Branch
77 Wellesley Street West
10th Floor, Ferguson Block
Toronto ON M7A 2T5
Canada

To the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks,

Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to this important consultation on the future of Ontario’s climate plan.

Please find below the Green Party of Ontario’s submission regarding the proposed Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018.

We know from the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that we are dangerously close to crossing the catastrophic 1.5C tipping point that would lead to runaway climate change. It is in the context of this dire warning that we call on the government to take urgent action to reduce our emissions and formulate a plan for adapting to a changing climate.

Summary

  • Bill 4 fails to match the urgency of the climate crisis and represents a major step backward in the fight against climate change.
  • It is unfair and unreasonable to eliminate the province’s only climate plan without being transparent with the public about the plan to replace it.
  • Bill 4 closes Ontario for business to the $26 trillion global clean economy and will have a negative effect on clean jobs and investment.
  • Pollution pricing must be a pillar for a climate plan to be efficient and effective.
  • A credible climate plan would include binding targets to shift Ontario towards being 100% carbon neutral by 2050, supported by specific measures in the areas of energy efficiency, home and building heating, transportation, electricity, and climate adaptation.

Where Bill 4 goes wrong

  • The consultation process for Bill 4 was insufficient
  • Bill 4 ignores the urgency of climate change
  • Bill 4 closes Ontario for business to the clean economy
  • Bill 4 gives little detail about a replacement plan
  • Bill 4 does not contain binding emissions targets
  • Bill 4 eliminates the most important policy tool: pollution pricing

The way forward: Recommendations for a credible climate plan

  • Adopt carbon fee and dividend
  • Focus on energy efficiency in homes and buildings
  • Electrify our transportation system
  • Support jobs and investment in the clean economy
  • Make our electricity system clean, affordable, and community-owned
  • Prepare Ontario for climate impacts

Conclusion

We cannot accept that increasingly severe wildfires, flooding and storms are our new normal.

We still have time to act.

We need profitable plans to do our part in the climate crisis, making GHG reductions a priority across all ministries in government. Time and money is wasted when problematic legislation such as Bill 4, as well government programs and spending plans, undermine our climate obligations.

Let’s get going.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

Jaymini Bhikha
Executive Director
Green Party of Ontario

Read the full GPO submission here
Submit your comments here