Ontario is leading the fight against climate change through the Climate Change Action Plan. Recently released, the plan lays out the specific actions Ontario will take in the next five years to meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction targets and establishes the framework necessary to meet its long-term targets.
As a commitment of the action plan, the province has prepared a draft guide Consideration of Climate Change in Environmental Assessment in Ontario for projects and undertakings under the Environmental Assessment Act. This guide will support the province's Climate Change Action Plan and Adaptation Strategy and will become part of the Environmental Assessment program's Guides and Codes of Practice.
Since 2014, the ministry has been supporting the overall Ontario Government effort to ensure that climate change is taken into account in the government decision-making process. The EA Codes of Practice reference climate change as an effect to be considered.
The ministry has the authority to seek public comment on, and to publish guidance for the EA program. Under section 31(1)(e) of the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA), the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change may gather, publish and disseminate information with respect to the environment or environmental assessments for the purposes of administrating and enforcing the EAA and regulations made thereunder.