COP20 (11/12/14) – Murray explains that Ontario is one of the fewest jurisdictions globally whose greenhouse gas emissions are below 1990 levels. He says that Ontario is committed to at least 80% reduction in emissions by 2050 and their past track record and future commitment put them in a leadership role.
Ontario works closely with Quebec, British Columbia and California on state level climate action. Murray reveals that the Canadian federal government has a very different position on climate change issues and does not prioritise it in the same way as the governments of Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia. In terms of decarbonisation, Ontario is electrifying their entire rail system and phasing out diesel, are aggressively expanding their wind and solar programs, have extensive hydropower and their baseload is supplied by nuclear. They have a limited number of natural gas plants which provide back up systems when there is high peak demand, however they plan to phase them out as conservation programs kick in.
Right now Ontario are looking into a subnational carbon market as the national government have no plans to introduce one. As the largest automobile manufacturer, Ontario want to manufacture net zero vehicles and work towards net zero buildings.