TORONTO – Today the Ford government released its environment plan, including weakened targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario. Ecojustice’s Charles Hatt issued the following statement in response:
“The plan unveiled by the Ford government today falls well short of delivering the climate solutions Ontarians are counting on to protect their health, security, and well-being.
“The main thing this plan needs to do is reduce Ontario’s carbon pollution. It fails right out of the gate by significantly weakening Ontario’s targets for pollution reduction.
“The science is clear: The time for urgent climate action is now. We must limit warming to 1.5°C, as required under the Paris Agreement, or risk climate disaster. This means cutting emissions in half by 2030 and getting to net-zero emissions by 2050. The cost of inaction is measured in growing risks to peoples’ health, in Ontario and around the world.
That Ontario is moving backward when the science cries out for greater ambition is shameful. This government’s plan might have been a good first step in 1988, when the world first awoke to the climate problem. But now it’s 2018 and we can’t really call this a plan – it is a choice to expose vulnerable Ontarians and our youngest citizens to ever increasing threats to their safety from heatwaves, flooding, wildfires, and vector-borne disease.
“Earlier this week, The Lancet concluded that urgent action on climate change is the single most important thing governments can do to protect human health. Today, the Ford government demonstrated – once again – that rhetoric aside, it is unwilling to take effective action to protect Ontarians from very real, very present threats to their health, security, and well-being.”
- In September, lawyers from Ecojustice and the uOttawa-Ecojustice Environmental Law Clinic, filed a lawsuit alleging that the Ford government unlawfully failed to provide for public consultation on a regulation that ended Ontario’s cap and trade program and on Bill 4, the Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018. The case also asks the Court to quash the regulation.
- Hours after the lawsuit was filed, the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks posted a notice on the Environmental Registry of Ontario providing for a 30-day public consultation period for Bill 4, Cap and Trade Cancellation Act, 2018.
- The Ford government still must answer in court for its violations of Ontarians’ rights under the Environmental Bill of Rights. A hearing on the matter is expected in early 2019.
Ecojustice, Canada’s largest environmental law charity, goes to court and uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change, and fight for a healthy environment for all.