The Ford government’s climate change efforts

2019-12-05

in Canada, Economics, Politics, Science, The environment

Ontario Auditor General Bonnie Lysysk’s 2019 report says that the Ontario government’s proposed climate policies are insufficient to meet their (inadequate) target for reducing greenhouse gas pollution:

The province estimates that its new approach will still meet federal reduction targets of 30 per cent below 2005 emission levels, or the equivalent of 17.6 megatonnes by 2030.

But that estimate is based on an older forecast that accounted for initiatives around electricity conservation, renewable energy and cap-and-trade — programs that have all been cancelled by the Ford government.

Lysyk estimates the new plan will only reduce emissions by between 6.3 and 13 megatonnes by 2030.

Page 147 of the report says:

Emissions Estimates Underlying Plan Not Supported by Sound Evidence

The Plan projects that Ontario’s greenhouse gas emissions will be 160.9 Mt in 2030 if no further climate initiatives are taken. To reduce Ontario’s emissions by 17.6 Mt to meet the 2030 target, the Plan outlines eight areas where the Ministry expects emissions reductions to occur. We reviewed the evidence and assumptions the Ministry used to estimate the emissions projected for 2030, as well as the reductions for each area. Based on our review, several of the estimates are not supported by sound evidence. Our assessment of the assumptions and double counting of initiatives found that the Plan overestimates the emissions reductions expected. Overall, our analysis found that the initiatives in the Plan have the potential to achieve between 6.3 Mt to 13.0 Mt of the 17.6 Mt emission-reduction goal.

This reinforces how many Canadian provincial and federal governments see climate change as a public relations issue: an area of criticism where they need a rhetorical answer to manage the level of criticism they get in the press.

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