The Green Ribbon Panel released a new report on September 10th detailing the path forward for Ontario’s electricity system to fight climate change and grow the province’s economy post-COVID.
The new report, Clean Air, Climate Change and Practical, Innovative Solutions to Grow the Economy and Reduce GHG emissions in Ontario, looks at the province’s history of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and uses these lessons to create a plan to meet its GHG reduction targets. The report was released by The Green Ribbon Panel, a collection of environmental and economic leaders from across Canada brought together earlier this year to explore practical and executable solutions to address climate change.
“Ontario has been a worldwide leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions since we eliminated our dependence on coal-fired generation in 2015, which was made possible in large part by leveraging Ontario’s nuclear assets,” said James Scongack, Chair of the Green Ribbon Panel. “Now more than ever it’s time for Canada to continue that leadership role. We must do more to show the world that GHG reduction is not only possible, but cheaper than alternative solutions. Today’s report is the first step in demonstrating that we can fight climate change while growing our economy.”
The report makes it clear that Ontario can not only meet its aggressive GHG reduction goals by 2030 through electrification of all sectors, including transportation, but doing so through smart integration of the electricity system would result in potential savings for the province compared to today’s system. Ontario’s existing nuclear infrastructure provides the backbone of the proposed integrated system, through reliable and flexible low-cost, low-carbon electricity.
The Green Ribbon Panel’s report reveals that:
· Three out of every four Canadians (75 per cent) believe that Canada should be doing more to address climate change;
· Ontario’s successful phasing out of coal stands as one of the largest and most successful GHG-reduction policies worldwide;
· Ontario’s electricity system, thanks in large part to nuclear, hydro and renewable technologies, accounts for only two per cent of the province’s GHG emissions, enabling opportunities for further GHG reductions through electrification of the transportation sector and development of hydrogen economy;
· An additional 37 TWh of carbon-free electricity, or 25 per cent more than is in use today, is required to meet Ontario’s emission reduction goals;
· Thanks to Ontario’s low-cost nuclear generation, the smart integration of a portfolio of low-carbon emitting technologies could be 28 per cent less costly than Ontario’s system today, and half the cost of a renewables-based alternative.
The report released September 10th is the first of a series of reports to be released over the coming months by The Green Ribbon Panel. The next report, scheduled to be released later this month, will continue to outline options to reduce Ontario’s electricity system costs while reducing emissions of GHGs and other pollutants, and contributing to economic growth.
The final report, to be issued in October, will recommend policy changes for the Federal and Provincial governments.
Read the full report here.