Province will meet Paris 2030 targets: Ontario climate change plan
By the year 2030, Ontario expects to reduce its emissions by 30 per cent below the levels reached in 2005, according to the province’s new climate change plan obtained by CTV News Toronto.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips is expected to announce the details of the plan at a news conference on Thursday afternoon in Nobleton, Ont.
The Ontario Progressive Conservative government says they believe this plan, which includes Ontario meeting their share of Paris 2030 targets, will “help us address our most serious environmental challenges in a responsible, effective, measurable and balanced way.”
The new plan replaces the now-repealed cap-and-trade system and will not put a price on carbon, which is a federal requirement that the provincial government plans to challenge in court.
Ontario made about $3 billion from cap and trade after the system was introduced in 2015 by the previous Liberal government. The succeeding PC government cancelled the program on Oct. 31. In their Fall Economic Statement released last week, the Tories said the province lost $1.5 billion in revenue due to the cancellation of the program.
Highlights of the new plan and commitments:
- Improving understanding on how climate change will impact the province of Ontario by running a provincial impact assessment to identify where and how climate change is likely impacting communities, critical infrastructure, economies and natural environment. The assessment would provide analysis regarding the matter to government, municipalities, businesses, Indigenous communities and Ontario residents to help build a guide for future decision making.
- Modernize building codes to ensure homes and building are able to better withstand extreme weather events, including affordable adaptation measures that would significantly reduce the impacts of basement flooding.
- Reduce emissions from heavy-duty vehicles, such as commercial transport trucks, by redesigning the emissions testing program and strengthen on-road enforcement of emissions standards.
- Protecting the Great Lakes through monitoring of sewage overflows from municipal wastewater systems in the province while working with municipalities to ensure residents are aware of overflow incidents.
- Focus on litter and waste initiatives, including implementing a “day of action” dedicated to cleaning up litter in Ontario’s communities.
- Increase access to parks and greenspaces throughout the province of Ontario by 10 per cent or approximately one million more visitors while protecting the natural environment.