Summary: The proposed Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan reflects our government’s commitment to address the pressing challenges we face to protect our air, land and water, reduce litter and waste, and support Ontarians to continue to do their share to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and help communities and families prepare for climate change.
The people of Ontario have already made significant and meaningful investments in climate action. In 2001, the government of the day announced the closure of the Lakeview Generating Station, which started a phase out of coal-fired electricity that remains the largest greenhouse gas reduction in Canadian history. By moving to a combination of sustainable hydroelectric and nuclear generating capacity, Ontario has avoided up to 30 megatonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking seven million vehicles off our roads. Today, our electricity is virtually emissions-free.
Measured against the same base year of Canada’s target under the Paris Agreement (2005), the province’s total greenhouse gas emissions have dropped by 22%– even while the rest of Canada saw emissions increase by 3% during that same time.
But doing Canada’s heavy lifting on greenhouse gas emission reductions has come at a substantial cost to Ontario families.
We will continue to do our share to address climate change and protect our environment. We will do so in a way that protects our economy and respects the people.
Ontario’s proposed Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan presents new direct for addressing the pressing challenges we face to protect our air, land and water, reduce litter and waste, build resiliency and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. The plan will help people and businesses across Ontario take environmental action in ways that will also save them money, enhance their communities, create new jobs and grow the economy.
Actions in the plan are measured against the following guiding principles to ensure we address environmental challenges in the most responsible, effective, measurable and balanced way.
- Clear rules - strong enforcement: We will ensure that polluters are held accountable with tougher penalties, while reducing regulatory burden for responsible businesses.
- Trust and transparency: We will provide Ontarians with the information and tools required – with a particular focus on real-time monitoring – to understand the current environmental challenges we face and how these challenges impact individuals, businesses and communities across the province.
- Resilient communities and local solutions: We recognize that environmental impacts faced by communities across Ontario may be very different. We will work with these communities and use best scientific practices and other evidence-based methods to develop unique solutions to their challenges.
The proposed Environment Plan will ensure that polluters are held accountable with stronger enforcement and tougher penalties for breaking environmental laws. We will do this in a transparent way, making real-time information about monitoring, incidents and enforcement available to the public.
The plan will also enable others to be environmental leaders and do their part in developing environmental solutions. This includes tapping into the resourcefulness and creativity of our diverse and thriving private sector by helping them invest in and develop clean solutions to today’s environmental challenges.
It offers integrated, tangible environmental solutions that save people and businesses money, address local priorities, and support our communities in doing their part for the environment.