Press release

IISD Commends Ontario’s Ambitious Climate Change Action Plan

June 7, 2016

The Province of Ontario today released an ambitious plan of action to tackle climate change. Ontario plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. 

Amin Asadollahi, IISD lead on climate change mitigation in North America, said: “We commend Premier Kathleen Wynne for positioning Ontario as a leader on climate change action in Canada, working in tandem with other provincial leaders. We hope that these provincial strategies will bolster our federal leaders’ efforts to develop a national action plan on climate change, including an ambitious cross-country price on carbon emissions.”

Philip Gass, IISD senior researcher, said: "Focusing on buildings is pivotal as it ensures that we lock-in a more efficient future in our building stock. Electrification of vehicles is also a logical next step given Ontario has already eliminated coal in its electricity grid and has to look now at its transport fuel emissions as one of the next major challenges."

A Price on Carbon

The plan follows the Province of Ontario's earlier announcement of its intention to join a cap and trade program with California and Quebec. The revenue from the program would help fund the $5.9 billion to $8.3 billion that Ontario plans to spend on climate change initiatives over the next five years.

“IISD strongly supports the decision Ontario has made to reinvest its cap and trade revenues into actions that will spur a transition to a lower-carbon economy and leverage even greater greenhouse gas reductions in the province. We applaud these efforts but note that more can be done and we must continually push for greater ambition,” said Gass.

“One particular area is fossil fuel subsidies.The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario identified in her recent report that Ontario provided tax concessions for fossil fuels in total of $628 million in 2015. We suggest that this is an area where Ontario can build on its laudable recent efforts to phase out these subsidies, such as increases to the tax rate for aviation fuel.”

For more information contact Sumeep Bath, media and communications officer, IISD at (204) 958-7740 or

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.

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