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Environment Groups' Education Campaign on Ontario's Energy Future Moves into Election Mode "Renewable is Doable"

WWF-Canada Media Release: Cherise Burda - Sept 7, 2007

Toronto, ON - "Renewable is Doable" is the key message of a voter education campaign launched today by WWF-Canada, The Pembina Institute, Greenpeace, Ontario Clean Air Alliance and Sierra Club, Ontario Chapter. The groups are asking Ontarians to consider a clean, climate-friendly energy future when they cast their ballot on October 10.

"All political parties are courting the environmentally-conscious voter," said Dr. Keith Stewart of WWF-Canada. "People don't look to environmental groups to tell them who to vote for, they look to us for clear, reliable information that will help them to evaluate policies, which is what the Vote for Clean Energy campaign provides."

The campaign offers voters two key ways for voters to declare their support for a clean, climate-friendly energy future for Ontario. Window posters with the tag line 'I want a clean energy future - and I vote' and virtual lawn signs are available on-line at www.voteforcleanenergy.ca. The site also shows the number and locations of virtual lawn signs across the province. "We know from our research that the clean energy future voters want is possible," said Cherise Burda, Ontario Policy Director of the Pembina Institute. "Let's be clear - it is possible for Ontario to get most of its energy from renewables; we do not need new sources of nuclear energy."

"The next government will either make Ontario an environmental laggard by becoming a world leader in 1970s nuclear technology by 2025, or make this province competitive with other leading jurisdictions that are keeping the lights on without nuclear power," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil, Energy Campaigner with Greenpeace Canada.

The Vote for Clean Energy campaign and the groups involved are explicitly non-partisan. The aim of the campaign is to provide voters with useful and well-researched information about the opportunity for clean, climate-friendly energy in Ontario. With the help of volunteers from around the province, the campaign is undertaking outreach and education, supporting events in key ridings, providing information and practical tools for candidates, and providing a comprehensive perspective on the environment/energy issues arising during the election.

For more information, please contact:

Maggie MacDonald

Communications Manager

WWF-Canada

mmacdonald@wwfcanada.org

416-484-7728

Sarah Dover

Vote For Clean Energy Coordinato

r sdover@magma.ca

info@voteforcleanenergy.ca

416-537-3966

Cell (416) 276-4020

Background:

Ontario's Energy Future:

Ontario's electricity plan does not go far enough on renewable energy.

The Province's plan calls for 200 megawatts of solar energy by 2025 -Germany installed five times that much in 2006 alone!

According to Renewable is Doable, Ontario could be generating most of it's electricity from clean, renewable energy - in particular: Three times the amount of wind power as the OPA plan calls for Ten times the amount of solar as the OPA plan calls for Thousands of megawatts from bio-energy sources, cogeneration and waste heat recycling - which are not part of the OPA plan.

Over two-thirds of the renewable energy in the OPA plan is large hydro - installed and planned. While much of this is needed, it should be in addition to large wind and other renewable sources, not instead of.

The OPA plan totally ignores the use of power storage technologies that would allow renewable energy to be the Provinces primary power source, not subordinate to a nuclear-centred plan.

Ontario's electricity plan low-balls energy efficiency and conservation.

The OPA plan puts an arbitrary cap on energy savings through conservation and energy efficiency at only 60% the cost effective potential identified and recommended by its own studies. This will cost Ontarians millions of dollars in missed opportunities, higher production costs and higher electricity rates.

According to Renewable is Doable, Ontario could be saving nearly double the planned amount of energy through energy efficiency and conservation.

Ontario's nuclear energy plan precludes a safe, clean, renewable energy future for Ontario:

The OPA plan will see half of Ontario's electricity supply come from refurbished and new nuclear reactors, committing Ontario to at least another forty years of expensive and unreliable power, as well as generating more long-lived radioactive waste. A decision to invest billions of dollars in nuclear mega-projects is a decision not to invest in clean renewable technology. Every dollar sunk into huge transmission systems to support centralized mega-projects is a dollar not invested in 'smart grids' that accommodate local production of renewable energy.

Ontarians want a clean energy future:

A recent Environics poll shows that 76% of Ontarians would vote for a party that shifted dramatically to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The OPA plan does not do this - it is a plan for a nuclear energy future and it marginalizes renewable energy.

See detailed reports at www.renewableisdoable.ca