“Premier Doug Ford is making the climate crisis worse. His government’s arrogance, climate recklessness and willful negligence, threatens our future. His government, consisting of 68 elected Conservative MPPs – less than six dozen individuals – are putting the rest of us in peril.” — Ten Climate Reasons to Defeat Doug Ford
Ten Climate Reasons to Defeat Ford
The background and context for Ten Climate Reasons to Defeat Ford are provided by this PDF which documents how the Ford government has no credible climate plan, no climate adaptation plan and no just transition plan.
- Ford’s bogus climate plan is not meant to reduce emissions. In a ‘code red’ world with time running out, Ontario has an inadequate, out-of-date emission reduction target, a climate plan in complete disarray, rising GHG emissions, and a missing adaptation plan. This is what happens when a government is not serious about any climate targets or protections. It’s a climate plan without climate action.
- Ford is committed to fossil fuels. Over 75% of the energy used in Ontario is directly from oil and natural gas (NG). Electricity accounts for only 16%. And with planned expansion projects in the works, natural gas will become the new coal.
- Ford’s bad energy choices threaten our future. Renewables are increasingly the preferred and most economic energy solution. They are among the lowest cost generators of power. And the scientific consensus is clear that the future of our planet hinges on their widespread adoption. Ford has stalled the development of renewable energy in Ontario. Solar power provides a very small share of Ontario’s energy, about 1%. Even Alberta has a higher share of solar power in its energy mix. Wind is stalled at about 8%.
- Ford lets big greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters off the hook. Reducing the GHG emissions of the largest industrial emitters is critical to meeting climate targets. But the Ontario program set up to deal with large emitters, like so many aspects of Ford’s climate plan, is designed to fail. While consumers pay for all their carbon use, big emitters don’t pay until they reach an average threshold. Industry is responsible for 30% of Ontario’s GHG emissions which amounts to 49 MT. Ontario’s Emissions Performance Standards will only eliminate 1 MT., an insignificant 2% of the total.
- Ford rewards big electricity users, while families pay the price. In the last election, Ford promised to cut electricity costs to Ontario families by 12%. Instead, he has slashed the electricity bills for the largest industrial users. There are more than 1.1 million households in Ontario considered to be in energy poverty. More and more, households are having trouble with energy bills. And yet, over the 20-year period from 2020 to 2040, the FAO estimates subsidized electricity will cost Ontario taxpayers a total of $118 Billion.
- Ford’s health care cuts increase climate health risks. In a recent landmark report, the World Health Organization states: “Fossil Fuels are killing us. Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity.” High temperatures cause deaths and GHG air pollution, from car and truck emissions, causes more than 15,000 premature deaths per year in Canada, including 6,600 in Ontario. The total economic cost of all health effects caused by air pollution is an astonishing $120 Billion per year.
- Ford is destroying the biosphere: forests and peatlands are on the list. There are competing world views. One recognizes that forests are living ecosystems essential to the health of the biosphere, a stable climate and all life on the planet. The other view is Ford’s climate-blind Forestry Strategy that treats Indigenous communities as bystanders, or standing in the way of more and bigger resource extraction projects.
- Ford is paving over wetlands and pushing urban sprawl. The climate crisis requires a major rethinking of how we build our cities and urban transportation systems. But the Ford government is committed to the old models. Unrestrained growth is the goal, and, to pave the way, the government has rammed through omnibus bills that weaken and eliminate environmental safeguards.
- Ford is undermining climate democracy. Climate action requires informed and engaged citizens, and more accountability in government. The only way to break the current cycle of broken climate promises and missed targets is to introduce new and effective structures and processes for climate accountability and democratic involvement. The Ford government’s approach is the exact opposite.
- Ford ignores Indigenous Peoples’ rights. On June 21, 2021, the Canadian government passed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act. This UNDRIP Act emphasizes lasting reconciliation, healing, and cooperative relations. The Ford government strongly objected to the federal government’s UNDRIP Act. Ontario claimed that it would hinder government and corporate economic development plans.
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