GLOBE-Net, November 21, 2013
Former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore praises Ontario’s climate action as continent’s largest coal plant poised to shut down, part of the largest carbon reduction project in North America
TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2013 – Environmental Defence today hosted Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and former U.S. Vice-President and Chairman of the Climate Reality Project, Al Gore, at an event to announce the elimination of coal-fired electricity in Ontario.
The largest coal plant in North America – Nanticoke Generating Station on the north shore of Lake Erie – will stop burning coal this year. As global climate talks enter the final hours in Europe, Ontario is proving that meaningful action on climate change is possible.
“Ontario has shown the world that bold action on climate change can be done,” said Tim Gray of Environmental Defence, an Ontario-based environmental group that advised on the ambitious energy initiative. “Ontarians should feel proud to live in the first jurisdiction in North America that is kicking the coal habit, and we hope others follow this lead.”
A decade ago, coal-fired electricity made up 25 per cent of Ontario’s energy needs, at a cost of $4.4 billion to the province when the environmental and health impacts were considered.
The elimination of coal from Ontario’s grid is the largest greenhouse gas reduction project on the continent. In 2005, there were 53 smog days in Ontario and in 2013 there have only been two.
“To solve the climate crisis, we need people, provinces and countries to show the way forward towards a coal-free, sustainable future. Ontario has distinguished itself as a leader in Canada and around the world,” said former U.S. Vice-President Gore.
“It is heartening to see the tremendous progress that has been made here and it is my hope that others will quickly follow suit.”
[stextbox id=”custom” float=”true” align=”right” width=”300″ bcolor=”e5e5e5″ bgcolor=”e5e5e5″ image=”null”]The Nanticoke generating station alone produced nearly 18 million tonnes of CO2e in 2005, the equivalent of 3.7 million cars on the road.[/stextbox]
Also today, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act, which will permanently ban coal-fired electricity from the province, making Ontario the first jurisdiction in North America to do so.
In just the past four years, more than 7,100 megawatts of new renewable energy projects have been installed or announced and an estimated 31,000 jobs created as a result.
More than 25,000 homes, farms, schools, churches and businesses have also installed or been accepted to build small-scale grid-connected Solar PV projects.
Ontario’s only serious competitor in North America for installations of solar power has been California.
SOURCE Environmental Defence
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
Learn More: for background information on the Ontario coal ban here
See Related GLOBE-Net article: Is there a future for coal? here
The Changing Energy Landscape will be a major issue discussed at GLOBE 2014 taking place March 26-28, 2014 in Vancouver Canada, where practical solutions and innovative emission-reducing technologies will be on display. Check here for more information.