Climate Change Strategy Discussion Paper for Ontario, Canada: Consultations in Feb. & March + Submit Your Comments by March 29, 2015

This video presents Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change.

Ontario recently released a climate change discussion paper (pdf) and invites citizens, businesses and communities to share ideas about how to “successfully fight climate change while fostering economic growth and keeping our businesses competitive.”

Minister’s Message

Climate change is the critical issue of our time. Two numbers that are vital for Ontarians to be aware of: 4, the number of degrees in this century that the planet is on track to warm by, and 6, the number, in trillions of dollars of new economic growth that will result from moving to a low-carbon economy.

A 4 degree increase in the mean temperature of our planet will have catastrophic consequences. Severe weather events are already driving up insurance costs and severely damaging our infrastructure. Food security and costs will be an early problem as climate change impacts where our food is grown and affects our water supply.

Climate change is a problem with a solution. Reducing our carbon emissions will produce a new innovation economy in Ontario. Building on our early leadership in sustainable technology and innovation, Ontario is well positioned to seize the opportunities of a low-carbon economy if we are prepared to take bold action.

Reducing our energy costs through the establishment of new building standards, and the use of new technologies, will enable us to reduce the emissions from our homes.

Moving to low-carbon and zero emission transportation options will allow us to move to and from our homes and jobs more efficiently, while improving the air we breathe and growing our manufacturing sector.

The new low-carbon economy will mean more and better jobs. It will avoid an environmental crisis and secure our future as a global green service and industrial economy leader.

We have already made great strides by eliminating coal power generation in Ontario, strengthening our building code, and beginning to electrify GO transit, but there is much more that must be done. We know we can do this and your participation in developing this strategy is essential to our success.

Glen Murray
Minister of the Environment and Climate Change
Ontario’s Climate Change Discussion Paper 2015
http://www.downloads.ene.gov.on.ca/envision/env_reg/er/documents/2015/012-3452.pdf

Figure 1 shows that in the absence of new actions, we expect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to begin to rise again as our economy and population grow. The illustrative wedges emphasise the importance of taking action early as delays take us further from our targets.

Figure 1 shows that in the absence of new actions, we expect Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to begin to rise again as our economy and population grow. The illustrative wedges emphasise the importance of taking action early as delays take us further from our targets.

The discussion paper’s purposes are as follows.

  • It identifies the climate change challenge, the risks and threats it poses to Ontario’s environment, economy and way of life.
  • This discussion paper suggests actions that encourage individuals, businesses, government and communities to do more to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
Figure 3 shows the sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Ontario’s 2012 GHG emissions are estimated to be 167 Mt. The transportation sector had the largest share of emissions, followed by the industrial and buildings sectors. It also focuses the mind on how to change current behaviours. It is important to note that this pie chart only captures emissions and does not reflect the important role and value of carbon sinks in removing carbon from the atmosphere, for example in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

Figure 3 shows the sectors responsible for greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Ontario’s 2012 GHG emissions are estimated to be 167 Mt. The transportation sector had the largest share of emissions, followed by the industrial and buildings sectors. It also focuses the mind on how to change current behaviours. It is important to note that this pie chart only captures emissions and does not reflect the important role and value of carbon sinks in removing carbon from the atmosphere, for example in the forestry and agricultural sectors.

  • Also, the paper presents considerations for Ontario’s approach to addressing climate change over the short and long term. “There are various tools at our disposal including carbon pricing and climate critical policy areas.”
Globally, 39 national and 23 sub-national jurisdictions have implemented or are scheduled to implement carbon pricing instruments, including emissions trading systems and taxes. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/05/28/state-trends-report-tracks-global-growth-carbon-pricing

Globally, 39 national and 23 sub-national jurisdictions have implemented or are scheduled to implement carbon pricing instruments, including emissions trading systems and taxes. http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/feature/2014/05/28/state-trends-report-tracks-global-growth-carbon-pricing

  • And it asks important questions to:
    • help inform a comprehensive climate change strategy and action plan, to be released later this year, and
    • determine which initiatives and programs currently underway are the most effective in reducing emissions and building resilience in order for Ontario to meet its emissions targets and adaptation goals.

This discussion paper invites comments through a series of questions at the end of the paper.

  • Your answers will help inform a climate change strategy and action plan to be released in 2015.

This document will be posted to the Environmental Bill of Rights for a 45 day comment period.

  • This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting February 12, 2015.
  • If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by March 29, 2015 to:
    • Kathy Hering
      Senior Policy Analyst
      Ministry of the Environment
      Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division
      Air Policy and Climate Change Branch
      77 Wellesley Street West
      Floor 10
      Toronto Ontario
      M7A2T5
      Phone: (416) 326-8092
  • Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/displaynoticecontent.do?noticeId=MTI0Mzcz&statusId=MTg3MjY0&language=en
  • All comments received prior to March 29, 2015 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of the Environment if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in the notice at http://www.ebr.gov.on.ca/ERS-WEB-External/searchComment.do?actionType=add&noticeId=MTI0Mzcz&statusId=MTg3MjY0&noticeHeaderIdString=MTI0Mzcz and reference EBR Registry number 012-3452.
  • Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.

During and after that time, focused discussions, town halls meetings and stakeholder forums will be organized to ensure that the themes and approach are considered from a number of stakeholder perspectives.

You should consider and provide your perspective to the following questions. The questions are organized along these five themes: Read more of Climate Change Strategy Discussion Paper for Ontario, Canada: Consultations in Feb. & March + Submit Your Comments by March 29, 2015