A Healthy Climate is in Jeopardy

The Ontario government cancelled most of the climate action programs that helped individuals, communities and businesses reduce their carbon pollution.

The Issue

Climate change is an urgent crisis, and already causing massive damage in Ontario from floods, fires, and other weather events. But instead of doing more to fight climate change, Ontario cancelled most of the programs that helped industry and individuals reduce carbon pollution. As well, the government cut funding to help people weather the impacts of climate change.

 

The Solution

We need to slow down human-caused climate change by reducing the carbon pollution created by burning fossil fuels like gasoline and oil. We can do this by switching to new energy sources that don’t pollute, such as wind. solar and geothermal power. We can switch from gasoline powered vehicles to electric vehicles or help people cycle, walk and take public transit more. We can make homes and buildings use less energy which reduces pollution and saves money.[showhide type=”solution” more_text=”Read More” less_text=”Close” hidden=”yes”] We need to reduce fossil fuel use in each of these sectors: Transportation Ontario needs to drastically reduce the number of gas powered cars on the road and reduce pollution from cars and trucks on the road today. We can do this by:

  • Building more public transit and cycling infrastructure where it’s most effective to help reduce the number of gas-powered cars on the road
  • Helping people switch to electric vehicles through incentives, building new charging stations, and programs to make sure electric vehicles are available when people want to buy them.
  • Increasing the fuel efficiency of gas powered vehicles and encouraging cleaner, renewable fuels whenever possible Implementing programs to help freight vehicles switch to cleaner alternatives and meet higher emissions standards
Industry Ontario needs to reduce carbon pollution from industry wherever possible. We can do this by:
  • Making industrial polluters pay for the carbon pollution they emit, to encourage them to take steps to reduce their emissions
  • Supporting the growth of clean, energy-efficient technologies which reduce long-term energy costs and cut industrial carbon pollution
Buildings Making buildings – from homes to hospitals – more energy efficient is a win-win. It reduces carbon pollution and saves more money over time than the cost of the efficiency upgrade. We can reduce carbon pollution from buildings by:
  • Updating the building code to make sure all new buildings are carbon neutral or “net-zero” – this means that they produce as much energy as they consume
  • Providing financial incentives, loans and rebates to help homeowners make their homes as energy efficient as possible.
  • Providing funding to retrofit schools, hospitals, social housing, and small businesses so that these buildings are as energy efficient as possible.
  • Help Ontarians access renewable energy and clean technologies like rooftop solar panels, geothermal heating, and other cost-cutting clean solutions
Electricity Ontario has been a leader in building a cleaner grid, shifting away from polluting energy sources like coal with impressive results for our health and our climate. But the recent large-scale cancellation of new renewable energy projects threatens all the progress we’ve made to clean up the grid. Ontario needs to:
  • Reinvest in building new renewable energy sources, like wind and solar power, to keep up with increases in electricity demand without increasing pollution
  • Incorporate renewable energy into plans to lower electricity bills. Renewables are now the cheapest form of new electricity generation in Canada, as they are in many parts of the world
Waste Organic waste in landfills produces methane – a very powerful greenhouse gas – when it breaks down. We need to reduce methane emissions from organic waste by:
  • Reducing the amount of organic waste headed to landfills with programs to encourage more efficient resource recovery
  • Diverting organic waste from landfills into composts
  • Using landfill gas capture systems to reduce methane from large landfill sites
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Resources

For more information about the risks to a healthy climate in Ontario, see the links below and visit our resources page. Blog – why Ontario needs to get serious about climate change Pollution Solutions blog CEA Bill 4 comments