Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Ontario's Climate Action Plan from 2016 to 2020

ontario emissions 2013Ontario’s Five Year Climate Change Action Plan 2016-2020 (Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, Jun. 8, 2016)

Also discussed here: Five things you need to know about how Ontario’s climate change action plan will affect your life (Financial Post, Jun. 8, 2016)

And here: Ontario's climate change action plan: what it needs to succeed (Mike Crawley, CBC News, Jun. 8, 2016)

Today we review Ontario’s first climate action plan with targets for the period 2016-2020. The planned GHG reductions fall within a plan to reduce overall emissions by 15% by 2020, 37% by 2030 and 80% by 2050 with most of the reductions coming from three sectors with 85% of current (2013) emissions: transportation (35%), industry (28%) and buildings (19%). Although Ontario is approaching carbon pricing in a different way (Cap and Trade) than British Columbia did 8 years ago using a revenue-neutral carbon tax, a similar approach is to require all municipalities to produce a climate mitigation and adaptation plan. The BC approach is expected to reduce B.C.’s emissions in 2020 by up to three million tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, roughly the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions created by 787,000 cars per year. Revenue from carbon tax itself $500M/year, was returned to taxpayers who pay less than any other provincial taxpayers in Canada. In addition, the serious way that Ontario is approaching the need for electric vehicles through incentives for new e-cars and for many new charging stations gives some assurance that both the carbon pollutants and toxic air emissions from today’s cars and trucks will be reduced.
  1. Under Transportation:
  • incentives for e-vehicles ($140-160M)
  • more charging stations ($80M)
  1. Under Buildings
  • Incentives for heat pumps and geothermal ($500-600M)
  • Free energy audits ($200-250M)
  1. Municipal Land Use Planning
  • greenhouse gas pollution reduction challenge fund or program.($250-300M)
  • make climate change mitigation and adaptation mandatory in municipal official plans.”
  1. R&D
  • Create a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility ($100-140M)
Other actions are planned for agriculture, industry and in collaboration with the federal government..  

Key Quotes:

“The plan…calls for government spending of $5.9 billion to $8.3 billion on climate change initiatives over the next five years. The money would come from the $1.9 billion the Liberal government expects to raise each year by auctioning off pollution emission credits when Ontario joins a cap-and-trade market with Quebec and California next January.”

 “The plan calls for spending of up to $1.1 billion to help businesses switch to more low-carbon technologies, reducing costs and emissions. Up to $290 million will be used to provide incentives for businesses that want to buy low-carbon commercial vehicles and technologies to reduce emissions, including electric and natural gas-powered trucks, anti-idling devices and electric trailer refrigeration.”
  1. Transportation
“The action plan establishes a province wide electric and hydrogen passenger vehicle sales target of five per cent in 2020. This target will be reviewed and increased appropriately every five years thereafter. For context, about 284,000 passenger vehicles were sold in Ontario in 2015. Five per cent of annual sales on that number represent about 14,000 vehicles.”

Maintain incentives for electric vehicles($140-160M): Ontario intends to extend the rebate program to 2020 for leasing or buying an eligible electric vehicle (up to $14,000 per vehicle), including rebates for purchase and installation of home charging stations (up to $1,000 per station).”

 “More charging stations($80M): The province intends to invest in the rapid deployment of charging in workplaces, multi-unit residential buildings, downtowns and town centres. Ontario will encourage ONroute locations to equip themselves with high-speed chargers. It will further encourage the federal government to invest in high speed, fast-charging infrastructure on inter-provincial highways and highways that connect Ontario to the United States.

 “Electric-vehicle-ready homes: Ontario intends to require all new homes and townhomes with garages to be constructed with a 50-amp, 240-volt receptacle (plug) in the garage for the purpose of charging an electric vehicle.

Electric-vehicle-ready workplaces: Ontario intends to establish a requirement that, as of 2018, all newly built commercial office buildings and appropriate workplaces must provide charging infrastructure.”

Commuter cycling: Ontario will revise provincial road and highway standards to require commuter cycling infrastructure be considered for all road and highway construction projects where it is safe and feasible. Ontario will do the same for major transit corridors.”
  1. Heating Buildings
Boost low-carbon technology in homes($500-600M): Ontario intends to help homeowners purchase and install low-carbon energy technologies such as geothermal heat pumps and air-source heat pumps, solar thermal and solar energy generation systems that reduce reliance on fossil fuels for space and water heating. This will include an increased benefit for low-income households and vulnerable communities.”

Provide free energy audits for pre-sale homes($200-250M) Energy audits would be required before a new or existing single-family home can be listed for sale, and the energy rating will be included in the real estate listing.”
  1. Land Use Planning
Require electric vehicle charging in surface lots: Municipalities would be able to require installation of electric vehicle charging stations in surface parking areas.”

Eliminate minimum parking requirements: Minimum parking requirements would be eliminated over the next five years for municipal zoning bylaws, especially in transit corridors and other high-density, highly walkable communities.” “Establish a Challenge Fund($250-300M): The government will establish a greenhouse gas pollution reduction challenge fund or program.”  

“Put climate change in official plans: The government intends to consult and propose amendments to the Planning Act to make climate change mitigation and adaptation mandatory in municipal official plans.”
  1. R&D
"Create a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility($100-140M): Based at a post-secondary institution in Ontario, a Global Centre for Low Carbon Mobility will be set up to advise the government on low-carbon transportation, and to direct funding for research, development and low-carbon manufacturing. The Centre will focus on industry research and development needs and support development of low- and nocarbon transportation technology such as electric automated vehicles.”
  1. Public Service
“Ontario will spend $160 billion over 12 years on public infrastructure, including $31.5 billion through the Moving Ontario Forward plan that invests in, for example, transit projects. Over the next five years, the OPS will lay the foundation to reach its new target of reducing emissions by 50 per cent below 2006 levels by 2030. These reductions will have the added benefit of reducing the cost to Ontarians of government operations.”
  1. Agriculture
“($20-30M) reduce the amount of organic materials going into landfills, which would reduce emissions. Potential targets are 40 per cent of organics diverted by 2025 and 60 per cent by 2035.”

 “Increase tree planting($ 0.5-1.5M): Ontario will continue to support tree-planting programs, including its commitment to plant 50 million trees across the province by 2025.”
  1. Reporting
“establishment of a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account to track cap and trade proceeds and ensure they are invested in green projects and programs that reduce or support the reduction of greenhouse gas pollution.”

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