The Ontario government is considering one of this country’s most ambitious climate action plans and it is prescient, given the recent research by one of Britain’s most influential energy experts. He warns that international oil companies such as Shell and BP must completely change their business model or face a “nasty, brutish and short” end within 10 years.
The Ontario government’s plan is one of the most comprehensive integrative plans that I believe, will position the province to become a leader in the new carbon neutral economy. It will be paid for by the revenues from its cap and trade program and includes phasing out of natural gas for heating, incentives to retrofit buildings and give rebates to drivers who buy electric vehicles. It will also require that gasoline sold in the province contain less carbon, bring in building code rules requiring all new homes by 2030 to be heated with electricity or geothermal systems, and set a target for 12 per cent of all new vehicles to be electric by 2025, to name only a few.
It contains about 80 different policies, grouped into 32 different ‘actions’, each with a price tag attached to it, as well as an estimate of the amount of emissions it will cut by 2020. This plan will propel Ontario onto the world stage as a leader in climate action and increase its international competiveness in renewable energy and stimulate new job creation. Big, bold and brave!