Environmental Defence releases report aiming to reduce Ontario’s carbon pollution

In mid-November, Metcalf grantee Environmental Defence released Pollution Solutions: Eleven Ways Ontario Can Take Action on Climate Change, a comprehensive report that outlines a range of solutions Ontario can immediately implement to cut carbon pollution.

The current provincial government has said it will not put a price on carbon. However, Environmental Defence believes that this should not be an impediment to reducing carbon emissions in Ontario.

“It’s time to move past fighting over carbon pricing and get to work on cutting emissions,” stated Sarah Buchanan, Clean Economy Program Manager at Environmental Defence. “Our report shows that there are solutions at hand.”

Pollutions Solutions includes a wide range of tried-and-true climate strategies, including natural gas conservation, supporting made-in-Ontario clean technology, building more public transit, introducing new programs to reduce pollution from freight vehicles, and creating stronger energy-efficient building standards.

The complete list of actions proposed by Environmental Defence are:

  1. Lower natural gas bills and cut carbon pollution with natural gas conservation.
  2. Tighten up energy efficiency standards by updating the Ontario Building Code.
  3. Help Ontarians cut costs and build resilience by generating clean renewable energy.
  4. Use strategic government procurement to save money long-term and drive demand for innovative solutions.
  5. Implement stronger policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from freight vehicles.
  6. Invest in smart, evidence-based public transit expansion to reduce carbon pollution from passenger vehicles.
  7. Support a shift to cleaner fuels to cut vehicle pollution.
  8. Invest in low-carbon mobility.
  9. Support new low-carbon technologies with a clean innovation fund.
  10. Reduce methane emissions from organic waste.
  11. Support low-income Ontarians in switching to clean, energy-efficient alternatives.

Given that Ontario’s new government has acknowledged that climate change is happening, the report argues that it needs to make use of “a wide range of solutions at its fingertips to reduce carbon pollution and support a thriving economy”. The report concludes by stating that many of their suggestions have “worked in other jurisdictions” and even already here at home.

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