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7.6 Provincial Summary: Ontario

Reality Check: The State of Climate Progress in Canada

Emissions profile

Ontario emitted 165 Mt CO2e in 2009, almost ¼ of Canada’s total emissions. Emissions have been reduced by over 6% since 1990 levels of 177 Mt, allowing the province to meet its interim 2014 target 5 years ahead of A breakdown of 2009 emission by source is provided in Figure 1.

Emission reductions measures by source

Almost half of Ontario’s emissions come from stationary energy. Ontario developed a coal phase-out strategy to reduce coal-fired generation emissions to zero by the end of 2014. From 2008 to 2009 provincial emissions from electricity and heat generation decreased 44%.137 Ontario aims to use clean energy to replace coal, increasing clean renewable electricity capacity by 50% by 2015.hh The Feed-in Tariff program for renewable sources of energy and the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program are both incentives for renewable energy in the province (see Chapter 3).138 The coal phase-out and related energy policies are expected to yield annual emission reductions of 29.1 Mt by 2020.

In addition to introducing new clean energy sources, the province is encouraging energy efficiency. It has created The Green Energy and Green Economy Act which seeks to bring more renewable energy sources to the province and to create of more energy efficiency measures to help conserve energy.139 The province has also made revisions to the building code, used education programs to reduce energy use, and offered energy rebates. The provincial government is aiming to reduce its own electricity consumption by 10% to 2012. Ontario has estimated that Government leadership would account for 30,000 tonnes of GHG emissions reductions to contribute to their 2020 goals.140

In 2009 emissions from manufacturing industries totalled 15.5 Mt from industrial processes 18.2 Mt CO2e. But emissions from these sources have fallen substantially since 1990 – by 30% and 41%, respectively.141 Ontario’s Conservation Fund encourages energy conservation and efficiency within the industrial sector and the supports clean technology development.142

In 2009, transportation emissions contributed 58.2 Mt CO2e to Ontario’s total emissions with 55% of those emissions coming from light-duty gasoline vehicles and trucks.143 In the highly populated Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area a Regional Transit Plan – “The Big Move” – has been developed and implemented in conjunction with land-use planning policies aimed at decreasing vehicle kilometres travelled.144 Speed limits have been placed on Heavy-Duty Trucks under the Highway Traffic Act and are projected to limit GHGs by 280,000 tonnes per year.145 In addition, the province has a number of programs that address sustainable transportation relating to commuting. Federal and provincial initiatives including the Big Move, passenger vehicle efficiency regulation, truck speed limits, and a program to support hybrid buses and green commercial vehicles is expected to result in a 3.0 Mt total reduction in transportation emissions by 2020.146

Emissions resulting from waste in the province account for 7.3 Mt.147 The province has introduced regulatory amendments to require the installation of methane capture in smaller capacity landfills and stated a preference for using landfill methane for energy production.148

Provincial evaluation of emissions reduction measures

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is responsible for reporting annually on the progress of the province’s activities to reduce GHG emissions. The ECO reviews any annual report on GHG reductions or climate change published by the government.149 The Ontario government used to release a CCAP Annual Report, with the last report being issued in December 2009.

The Energy Efficiency Act requires affected facilities to report GHG emissions, thereby facilitating monitoring and evaluation.

Inter-jurisdictional measures

Ontario is a member of WCI and prepared for a cap-and-trade system under its Environmental Protection Amendment Act in 2009 (see Chapter 3).

[gg] According to ECO, with economic growth predicted to increase, the challenge of meeting Ontario’s 2014 and 2020 targets will become more acute. Furthermore, GHG emissions are projected to rise between 2014 and 2020 because of a shift to natural gas when nuclear facilities are retired and measures have not been planned to address this (see Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011).

[hh] Information included in this appendix is sourced from Government of Ontario 2007 unless otherwise indicated.

[134] Government of Manitoba 2010

[135] Environment Canada 2011b

[136] Environment Canada 2011b

[137] Environment Canada 2011b

[138] Ontario Power Authority 2010

[139] Legislative Assembly of Ontario 2009

[140] Government of Ontario 2009

[141] Environment Canada 2011b

[142] Ontario Power Authority ND

[143] Environment Canada 2011b

[144] Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011

[145] Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011

[146] Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011

[147] Environment Canada 2011b

[148] Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011

[149] Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2011