November 20, 2018
(OTTAWA) – The City of Ottawa’s most recent emissions report demonstrates that years-old provincial policy is having more of an impact on Ottawa’s emission reductions than any measures being taken by the municipal government. The report, “2012 and 2016 Community and Corporate Greenhouse Gas Inventories,” will be discussed as part of the November 22 meeting of the City of Ottawa Environment and Climate Protection Committee.
“Ottawa City Council and Mayor Watson should probably pause before taking credit for the emissions reductions observed in this report,” said Robb Barnes, executive director of Ecology Ottawa. “We should really be thanking Dalton McGuinty instead. Much more than any municipal action, the provincial coal phase out is behind the emission reductions observed in this report.”
The report indicates that community-wide greenhouse gas emissions declined by 11 percent between 2012 and 2016, on track to meeting the city’s short-term target of reducing emissions by 12 percent below 2012 levels by 2024. However, the report notes that the reductions are primarily due to the provincial coal phase out, which ended in 2014. In other major sectors such as transportation, emissions have barely changed since 2012.
“From an emissions reduction perspective, the coal phase out is a gift that only comes once,” said Mr. Barnes. “From here on out, it’s a mystery how the city plans to meet its long-term emissions targets. And the signs from the city are worrying – we’re seeing a delayed and piecemealed renewable energy strategy, infrequent emissions reporting, a lack of policy ambition, and inadequate funds for staff to implement the city’s vision.”
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