Climate change is a huge challenge, but also one we can successfully tackle if we follow through on measures such as those described in the province’s new Climate Plan. A key step is to start to include consideration of climate impacts in all major government decisions, including planning for a transition to a fossil fuel free future by 2050. To make this happen and to track our progress toward meeting provincial carbon emission targets, we need to create a provincial carbon budget and require that government programs, policies and development decisions fit within it. We also need to give individual Ontarians the tools they need to lower their climate impact – and to benefit from taking action to protect our climate.
- Create a provincial carbon budget to encourage both adaptation and mitigation policies and approaches that minimize greenhouse gas emissions and to ensure we remain on track to meet our emission reduction targets.
- Use the carbon budget and other measures to apply a climate lens to all land-use planning decisions, environmental assessments and planning laws to help us transition our communities to a fossil fuel free future.
- Make transit investment mandatory for municipalities.
- Ensure average Ontarians are fully engaged in the work of reducing emissions by creating tangible rewards for low-carbon actions and effective price signals for high-carbon choices.
- Act on the clear evidence provided by the Ontario Energy Board and others that the Energy East pipeline runs directly counter to the province’s objective of lowering greenhouse gas emissions.
- Recognize and address the importance of protecting the vast intact carbon storehouse of Ontario’s Far North in land-use plans for the region.
Keith Brooks, Campaigns Director, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 x233 firstname.lastname@example.org