Toronto City Council has joined a list of 21 Ontario municipalities by passing a resolution calling on the Government of Ontario to phase-out Ontario’s gas-fired power plants. Municipalities who have made the same call include, County of Peterborough, Mississauga, Brampton, Niagara Falls, Temiskaming Shores, Ajax, Orangeville, Kingston, Waterloo, Guelph, Cobourg, St. Catharines, King, Woolwich, Selwyn, Windsor, Burlington, Hamilton, Halton Hills and Kitchener.
Toronto’s resolution is welcomed by the Ontario Clean Air Alliance (OCAA) which is a
Toronto based environmental group that is currently chaired by Jack Gibbons who was a Former Toronto Hydro Commissioner. They are focused on building a low-carbon, high-efficiency economy by lobbying governments to move towards renewable energy options to combat climate change and improve air quality in Ontario.
OCCA has stated that the province’s current energy policies will result in a 300% increase in pollution from gas-fired generating stations by 2030 and by 500% or more by 2040, making it impossible for Ontario to meet its climate change targets. The organization has prepared a report (Phasing-Out Ontario’s Gas-Fired Power Plants: A Road Map) analyzing current gas-fired power plants.
The report states that Ontario must shift to more affordable energy alternatives including solar, wind and water-power from Quebec. OCCA hopes that if the Ontario government agrees to phase out gas-fired plants, it will add to other climate change initiatives, including Ontario’s commitment to end coal-fired electricity in the province. OCCA has also raised concerns that Ontario will be importing fracked gas from the United States to fuel the gas-fired plants.
The Government of Ontario has promised to reduce Ontario’s greenhouse gas pollution by 30% by 2030 relative to the 2005 levels.