Tell your MPP: It's time for a People's Climate Plan in Ontario
The climate crisis threatens us all. Rising temperatures lead to more dangerous heat waves, diseases, floods and forest fires. If we overshoot 1.5°C, we risk irreparable damage to our natural world, food and water insecurity, growing numbers of climate refugees, and severe public health consequences. 2
The only way to minimize these threats to our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren is to bring emissions down quickly, immediately decreasing fossil fuel use. The science is clear: we have very few years left to make the necessary changes. 3
Thankfully, moving to green infrastructure now is not just an imperative; it is also a great opportunity! The green transition can create thousands of jobs in emerging, innovative green industries, make our towns and cities more resilient, and leave Canada’s natural beauty intact for the enjoyment of future generations. 4
However, the Ford government’s plan moves us backwards. It weakens our climate goals at a time when they must be more ambitious and fails to specify actions that will help us all prosper from a quick transition to renewable energy in our buildings and our transportation choices. 5
The government is legally required to record and review all comments on this bill during the comment period, but that period closes on January 28th. We need massive public outcry before the comment period ends. Sign now and spread the word!
This plan was developed by members of ClimateFast and Drawdown TO in consultation with the wider public. The referenced sources are available on our website, available here. Individuals and organizations are invited to sign on to support.
1) Ontario has relaxed previous targets by about 30 megatons CO2 and matched Canada’s existing targets, despite the fact that these need to be made much more ambitious if we are to keep global warming below 1.5 °C. Indeed, if the entire world were to adopt Canada’s current policy, it would warm an estimated 5 °C.
2) We currently face stronger droughts, wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and the loss of food and water security in many parts of the world due to consequences like the loss of coral reefs and glaciers. The consequences of warming 2 °C are significantly more severe than at 1.5 °C.
3) The International Panel on Climate Change's 1.5 °C Report counsels that we must reduce emissions by 45% or more below 2010 levels by 2030 to have any chance of achieving the 1.5 °C goal. And, the UN chief warns that we must change course before 2020 to avoid the chance of runaway global warming.
4) According to the Environmental Commissioner’s 2018 report (EC report) in 2017, Ontario was a leader in the cleantech industry, with 5,000 companies employing 130,000 people. Norway has transitioned rapidly to electric vehicles through government incentives and taxes; the UK has managed to reduce its overall energy use while growing its economy; South Australia is reaping the benefits of major investments in renewable energy.
5) Ontario’s Climate Plan was unveiled with scant details. Environmental Defence gives it a failing grade.