Ontario Permanently Bans Coal-Fired Electricity Generation
Province Passes Landmark Law In Advance of Global Climate Change Summit
In the lead up to the United Nations’ Conference of the Parties in Paris, Ontario passed legislation today to permanently ban coal-fired electricity generation in the province — a first in North America and a significant step in the fight against climate change.
The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act prevents new and existing facilities from burning coal for the sole purpose of generating electricity. It sets maximum fines for anyone who violates the ban and enshrines the health and environmental benefits of making coal-fired electricity illegal in law.
This landmark legislation builds on Ontario’s leadership on climate change. Last year, Ontario closed its last coal-fired power plant. Closing coal-fired power plants represents one of the largest greenhouse gas reduction initiatives in North America The closure has eliminated more than 30 megatonnes of annual greenhouse gas emissions, equivalent to taking seven-million vehicles off our roads. Closing coal has helped reduce the number of smog days in Ontario from 53 in 2005 to zero in 2015.
Climate change is not a distant threat — it is already costing the people of Ontario. It has devastated communities, damaged homes, businesses and crops and increased insurance rates. The cost of inaction is far too high.
Closing coal-fired electricity generation and reducing greenhouse gas emissions is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.