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Environmental Protection & Preservation

McGuinty Government Sets Ambitious, Realistic Greenhouse Gas Targets

Premier Dalton McGuinty says Ontario will build on its efforts to fight climate change by setting aggressive targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of the government's climate change plan.

"For the last four years, Ontarians have worked together to fight climate change and reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, " said McGuinty.

"We're doing our part to fight climate change in an ambitious and realistic way by shutting down coal plants, promoting energy conservation and investing in infrastructure that helps Ontarians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. We're going even further by setting tough new targets for the future that will build on all we have achieved in four short years, together."

The targets for the next steps in the McGuinty government's climate change plan are:
  • A reduction of greenhouse gases to six per cent below 1990 levels by 2014, or 61 megatonnes.
  • A reduction of greenhouse gases to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, or 99 megatonnes.
  • A reduction of greenhouse gases to 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
To achieve its 2014 targets, the government will finish the job of closing down Ontario's coal plants and carry out its existing policies, which would account for more than 50 per cent of all targets.

About 15 per cent will come from transit investments and working on initiatives with the federal government and other partners, including strong, national fuel-efficiency and auto emissions standards.

Some 15 per cent will result from policies recently or soon to be announced in Ontario, including home audits and incentives for municipalities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

The remaining portion will come from research and innovation into new technologies which would fight climate change and strengthen the economy.

The government will use a similar approach to meet its targets for 2020 and 2050.

Tough measures will be put in place to ensure transparency and accountability. This will include a report back to Ontarians every year in the legislature and an independent review by the Environment Commissioner on the government's progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"Climate change is the defining issue of our generation - we've come a long way, but we have more to do, together," said McGuinty. "By putting Ontario at the forefront of green innovation, we can meet our responsibility to the generations to come and create jobs and new opportunities for people today."

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