NOBLETON, Ont. – The many anticipated climate change plan in Ontario is committed to meeting the Paris Agreement targets by 2030 through a range of measures that include setting up a fund to stimulate private investment in clean technologies and setting performance standards on large leakers.
An Introductory Conservative government scheme, which was announced by the Minister for Environment, Rod Phillips on Thursday, will see the province spend $ 400 million over four years on the Carbon Ontario Trust funded by taxpayers to partner the private sector on green technologies
It will also consult with industry members to develop performance standards for large emitters.
"It's a plan that makes a clean break of the current situation, and it's a scheme that balances the health environment and a healthy economy," said Phillips. "Our scheme will encourage individuals, families and businesses to take more ownership of a shared environment as we work towards shared objectives."
Phillips emphasized that the scheme – which does not replace the previous Liberal system cap-and-trade system – sets a price on carbon. The Tories repeatedly said during the spring election campaign that a carbon pricing system, which is a federal requirement, makes life unforgettable for families.
The Ontario Carbon Trust will include an inverse $ 50 million auction that encourages businesses to apply for government contracts awarded based on the lowest tonnage of greenhouse gas emissions.
It's a plan that makes a clean break of the current situation, and it's a plan that balances the health and healthy economy environment
The Carbon Trust appears to be a model similar to the Australian Emission Reduction Fund to tackle climate change. That system provides taxpayers funded incentives for businesses, farmers and landholders to adopt environmentally friendly habits and practices, but critics say that it has allow emission to rise.
The climate plan will also set up an independent board to work with the private sector to identify projects that will reduce emissions.
The province also intends to encourage increased use of electric vehicles, compressed natural gas in a truck and higher levels of ethanol in gasoline.
It will also carry out an assessment of the effects of climate change on Ontario.
Under the Paris Agreement, targets were set to reduce emissions by 30 per cent under 2005 levels by 2030. For Ontario, this would result in a reduction in emissions of 161 megatonnes to 143 megatonnes by 2030.
Phillips said Ontario was eight percent away from that meeting.
"The plan that we presented today is a sensible, achievable way to do that," he said.
The Paris Agreement is committed to keeping the increase in global average temperatures to below 2 degrees Celcius.