In a recent news release WWF Canada selected the top five game changers that point the direction for a cleaner, greener Canada.
Guess which came in 1st place …… Ontario’s Green Energy Act. That’s no surprise to us, but some people don’t understand the importance of the North American leadership position that Ontario is taking to transition to a cleaner greener future. Spear the Word and Stand Up for Solar!
Here’s the WWF’s top 5:
1. Ontario’s Green Energy Act:
Ontario’s Green Energy Act was introduced in 2009, a comprehensive policy aimed at energy conservation, expanding renewable energy creation and building a green energy industry in the province. This policy, coupled with the ongoing coal phase out in Ontario, was the single biggest action taken to reduce North American emissions in the past five years.
2. Electric cars in the hands of Canadians:
The introduction of electric vehicles to the Canadian marketplace, backed by provincial support, will help encourage Canadians to purchase cleaner car technology. So far, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia have introduced rebate programs for electric vehicles. Quebec’s is the most generous, with $50M earmarked for the program over the next few years. To help residents transition to the new technology, municipalities - including Vancouver, Montreal and Quebec City – are implementing public charging networks. While there are still strides to be made in developing the infrastructure to support these vehicles, they represent a radical shift away from fossil-fuel cars, and are one part of a shift to sustainable transportation.
3. British Columbia and Quebec put a price on carbon:
In 2008, British Columbia introduced a carbon tax, a landmark decision that saw the province apply the tax to all fossil fuels, including gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas, propane and home heating fuel. To- date, the tax has resulted in a 3 per cent reduction in BC’s gasoline consumption. Quebec has also taken leadership on carbon, having adopted cap and trade system for greenhouse gas emissions to begin by 2013.
4. Investment in renewable energy overtakes fossil fuels:
2011 marked a major global milestone for renewable energy – for the first time, investment in renewable energy sources was higher than investment in fossil fuels. Savvy investors have realized that the next big opportunity is in renewable energy, not in oil, coal or gas. In Canada alone, new financial investment in renewable energy rose 47% in a single year, from 2009 to 2010.
5. 50% of the Canadian population now lives in a city or town that has a climate action plan:
Municipalities across Canada are leading the way in commitments to cut emissions and take action on climate change. Vancouver has boldly pledged to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Canadians can feel proud that half of us live in a place where our local governments are showing real leadership by measuring their greenhouse gas emissions, setting targets for cutting these emissions and committing to hard-hitting action plans that will deliver results on climate change.