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: Leading in the Green Economy

Backgrounder
November 26, 2015

2015 Budget Commitment

The government is tackling climate change and continuing to be a leader in the low-carbon economy.

Impact

Addressing climate change now will allow Ontario to reduce the risk of negative impacts to infrastructure, biodiversity, agriculture and the health and well-being of all Ontarians, while taking advantage of the opportunities that have emerged in the low-carbon economy.

Good environmental policy is good economic policy. The government is committed to tackling climate change, while continuing to foster a competitive business climate and grow the economy. Acting now can help ensure a prosperous economic future and a flourishing society.

Progress Report

Tackling Climate Change

  • As a member of the Western Climate Initiative, Ontario intends to link its cap-and-trade program with those in Quebec and California. The Province has released a broad climate change strategy and is developing a specific action plan to achieve its 2020 emissions reduction target.
  • In May, Ontario became the first Canadian province to set a mid-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target for 2030. The new commitment to reduce emissions by 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030 will help Ontario achieve its long-term environmental goals.
  • In July, the Province hosted the Climate Summit of the Americas, which culminated in the Climate Action Statement, the first-ever pan-American action statement on climate change. The statement was signed by Ontario and 22 other states and regions including Brazil, Mexico and the United States, committing them to work together to achieve environmental goals.

Focus on Cleantech

  • In November, Premier Kathleen Wynne led a successful trade mission to California, showcasing Ontario’s leadership in cleantech and tackling climate change, as well as information and communications technology, film production, and advanced manufacturing.
  • Also in November, the Premier conducted a second trade mission to China to highlight Ontario’s expertise in the cleantech, science and technology, and agriculture sectors.

New Green Initiatives

Green Investment Fund

  • The government proposes a down payment of $325 million in 2015–16 through a Green Investment Fund that will be targeted at reducing GHG emissions while strengthening the economy. Through this initial investment, the fund will support energy retrofits in homes, including affordable housing; energy-efficiency investments in small and medium-sized businesses and industry; support for Aboriginal communities; and new investments in electric vehicle infrastructure.

Green Bonds

  • In 2014, Ontario launched its first Green Bond, with a value of $500 million. The Green Bond program is a new way to help the Province finance transit and other environmentally friendly projects. Based on the program’s success, the Province plans to issue its second Green Bond before the end of March 2016.

For more information, refer to the 2015 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Chapter I, Section A: Fostering a More Innovative and Dynamic Business Environment; Chapter I, Section G: Tackling Climate Change;
Chapter III, Section D: Borrowing and Debt Management.