Tuesday, June 19, 2007

How Novel

I really like the recent initiatives the Ontario government has announced on the environment file. My impressions aside, it is nice to hear some expert opinion weighing in that reacts in a positive way. What a novel concept, a plan that actually finds support outside of partisan rhetoric:

David Suzuki Foundation:

First parts of province's climate change plans encouraging

June 18, 2007 Ontario's greenhouse gas reduction targets recognize what needs to be done to tackle global warming, but their credibility and effectiveness depend on the rest of the plan they're part of, according to the David Suzuki Foundation.

"The targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are solid," said David Suzuki Foundation climate change policy analyst Dale Marshall. "Particularly the long-term targets. They're in line with what science dictates is required."

Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty's plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - mainly carbon dioxide or CO2 - six percent by 2014, 15 percent by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050. Phasing out the use of coal for generating electricity is a key element.

As part of that effort, the Premier announced a regulated shutdown of coal-fired generating plants by 2014. "That coal-phaseout timeline is key," Mr. Marshall said. "Coal can be phased out within the term of the Kyoto Protocol, by 2012."

Public transit is another important aspect of the plan, with a large transit funding package for Toronto that includes $17.5 billion over 13 years, $6 billion of which Ontario hopes to get from the federal government.

"That's a significant proposal for public transportation," said Mr. Marshall. "Sustainable transit is crucial to tackling global warming and cutting greenhouse gases. Better transit means fewer cars on the road and less carbon dioxide in the air."

Pollution Probe:

Pollution Probe applauds the government of Ontario’s huge investment in public transit

(Toronto, ON) Pollution Probe congratulates the government of Ontario for its leadership in making a huge investment in public transit. A modern public transit system is a lynchpin for environmental sustainability and the centerpiece for tackling serious environmental issues, including climate change and smog.

“The Government of Ontario is demonstrating vision and leadership by investing in a long-term plan to reduce vehicle dependency and address its growing transportation and congestion problems,” said Dr. Quentin Chiotti, Pollution Probe’s climate change director. “Investment in public transit on this scale is really significant,” says Dr. Chiotti. “It is a watershed moment in Ontario’s transition to sustainable growth management.”

Pollution Probe urges the federal government to play their part in this initiative.

Many reviews are yet to come, and I'm sure I've missed some, but by my count the McGuinty Green Plan now has two more environmental groups onside than the Baird Green Plan. Yep, 0 + 2= 2 if my math is right. Experts, what do they know- on with the baseless, blowing in the wind, no context, detached from reality propaganda I say Mr. Baird.

UPDATE
More typical revelations.

4 comments:

JimBobby said...

Whooee! I ain't gonna be so generous with the praise fer Ginty. Mass transit upgrades are good and have been needed for decades. I'm happy to see the issue getting attention.

Ginty's big mistake is latchin' on to the sales pitch from the nuclear energy sector. Closing the coal-fired plants that produce less than 2% of Ontario's pollution gets big news coverage. Ontario has earmarked $40 BILLION for nuclear expansion and is usiung teh climate change awareness to fast track this new foray into a technology that has proven time and again to be neither safe, reliable nor cost-effective.

When Ginty embarks on a comprehensive in-house energy conservation plan, I'll give him a pat on the back. The Ontario government owns, leases, rents or supplies funding for thousands of buildings and thousands of vehicles.

Energy audits followed bu serious conservation efforts wrt government buildings and vehicles could save countless tonnes of CO2 emmissions and could mitigate the need for new nuclear development. A small fraction of teh $40 billion would have an ROI that would create a shining example to individuals and private businesses.

JB

Steve V said...

JB

Fair criticisms, but you have to acknowledge that there is at least some support from environmental quarters. My real point was to highlight the lack of any credible verification for the federal government plan.

Given what we are seeing from the various provinces, if they actually come anywhere near what they propose, we will end up meeting the federal targets. Baird might be proven correct, simply because others have done his heavy lifting.

Mushroom said...

Praise for McGuinty needs to be qualified.

The coal-fired plant deadline is four years after the proposed 2010 date. There will also be problems with closing two plants in Thunder Bay and Atikokan, which generate 20 per cent of energy in Northern Ontario.

Still the targets McGuinty proposes is nowhere close to what BC, let alone the standards proposed in California. These standards are not even close in meeting Kyoto targets.

Steve V said...

"These standards are not even close in meeting Kyoto targets."

According to the plan, Ontario will meet the targets by 2014, which is only 2 years too late. I consider that completely acceptable, given the present circumstance.