ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
The devastating impacts of climate change are undeniable. In 2021, Canadians witnessed unrelenting wild fires, deadly heat waves, and destructive flooding across the country. In Ontario alone, wildfires burned more land across the province than in any other year in history. Unless immediate action is taken, we should expect the climate crisis to become more dire and closer to home.
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER: Ontario's Climate Failure
The Ford government's Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan (Plan) presents an illusion of climate action. A report from Ontario's Auditor General found that the Plan's projected emissions forecast was not yet supported by sound evidence.
Worse yet, the provincial government is failing to meet its own goals. In October 2021, the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (Ministry) released emissions estimates which suggest Ontario is not on track to achieve the 2030 target of a reduction of 30% below 2005 levels - i.e. 143.3 metric tonnes (Mt). If no further emissions reductions actions are taken by the provincial government, Ontario's emissions would increase to 160.9 Mt in 2030. This creates a 17.6 Mt emissions gap between our goal and the business-as-usual forecast.
The Ford government's Plan lacks mechanisms to promote transparency, accountability, and evidence-based decision making. For instance, despite the recommendation of the Auditor General, the Plan lacks a requirement for the Ministry to regularly explain to the public the outcomes of all emissions-reduction initiatives. The provincial government has further failed to appoint an external advisory panel to review and provide advice on climate change planning. While the Minister appointed a 10-member panel in November 2019 to provide advice to the Minister on implementing the Plan's climate change resilience commitments, the panel has no direction or authority to provide advice on the Ministry's plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To close the 17.6 Mt gap, the Ministry must follow the advice of the Auditor General and update the Plan to include detailed actions and initiatives, with all estimated emissions reductions based on sound evidence and supported by a comprehensive and transparent feasibility and cost analysis.
Ontario needs a real plan for climate change.
Call on Ontario to commit to a meaningful climate change plan which is scientifically informed and specifically addresses emissions reductions
Call on all MPPs to unite in the fight against the climate crisis, using all available provincial powers to achieve: the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; investments in green infrastructure and transit; and bolstered disaster preparedness
want to know more? read the full platform.
Thomas Borcsok | Ottawa Centre | Independent | Ontario General Election 2022