Toronto, Ontario – At Queen’s Park today, during the critically important global climate change conference in Poznan, Poland, the Green Energy Act Alliance released its expectations for the upcoming Ontario Green Energy Act. The Alliance recommendations for the Act will help bring economic prosperity and new ‘green’ jobs to Ontario, reduce Ontario greenhouse gas emissions, and allow individuals, communities and companies to become energy producers and conservers.
Developed by an array of experts, including environmental, agricultural and First Nations organizations, the document outlines what the purpose, results and core components of the Green Energy Act should be. Targets in the Alliance’s recommendations include: 6,000 MW of conservation by 2010 with an annual reduction from 2011-2027; 10,000 MW of new renewable energy by 2015; and, 25,000 MW of renewable energy by 2025. Recommendations in the plan will also result in locally owned and developed renewable energy by First Nations, farmers, public sector institutions, community organizations and co-operatives, while attracting domestic and international investment to the province.
“We have high hopes for this new law,” said Deb Doncaster, Executive Director, Community Power Fund. “Premier McGuinty and Minister Smitherman have both shown an interest in building on the German and French models that have worked so well in those countries, and we are confident that a bold, new Green Energy Act will help Ontario leap forward on the global green energy stage.”
“The Green Energy Act proposed by the Ontario Green Energy Act Alliance will put Ontario in a leadership position on par with Germany,” said Herman Scheer, Member of the German Bundestag (Federal Assembly of Germany) and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy. “The proposed tariff system will no doubt result in 25,000 MW of renewable energy installed in Ontario by 2025. Ontario, indeed Canada as a whole, has huge potential for renewables and conservation, equal to or better than Germany’s; all you need is a Green Energy Act like we have in Germany to make Ontario the leading jurisdiction in North America.”
Across Europe, governments are using ‘Feed-in Tariff’ systems that guarantee a price for green energy, securing different prices for different technologies depending on cost, and giving priority access to the electricity grid to renewable energy producers, large and small. These policies have resulted in the growth of new industries and jobs (a combined 400,000 related jobs in Germany and Spain alone) and a dramatic increase in the amount of renewable energy in their systems.
“Green energy brings the promise of a future without worsening climate change; green manufacturing renews Ontario’s promise to provide good jobs, social equality and integration for its working people,” said Andy King, National Health, Safety and Environment Coordinator for the United Steelworkers Union. “The Steelworkers Union is committed to a future where good green jobs are generated and sustained through investment in green energy and green manufacturing.”
“Ontario farmers are already leaders in energy conservation and environmental stewardship,” said Don McCabe, Vice-President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture. “Now farmers are positioning themselves and eager to provide both on-farm energy sources and feedstocks to the province, ensuring sustainable power for Ontarians.”
Also made public was a new Green Energy Act advertisement that will begin airing today at TTC stations across Toronto. The electronic transit ad focuses on the benefits of a strong green energy policy, including reducing our contributions to climate change and creating new “green jobs” for Ontario. The ads will run for the next few weeks leading up to the winter holidays. The ad can be viewed at www.greenenergyact.ca.
About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance’s vision is to make Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection. Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the Pembina Institute. www.greenenergyact.ca
For more information, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232; (647) 280-9521 (cell)
Deborah Doncaster, Community Power Fund, (416) 824-4866 (cell)
Don McCabe, Ontario Federation of Agriculture, (519) 331-6175 (cell)