Electricity Plan will Short-Circuit all Parties' Climate Goals:

Media Release: Cherise Burda - Sept 13, 2007

(Toronto) - Today, environmentalists said that the electricity plan submitted to the Ontario Energy Board two weeks ago will not achieve the level of greenhouse gas reductions necessary for any of the four major parties to achieve the climate change targets they've put into their platforms. The groups, who have put forward an alternative plan, have written to party leaders challenging them to tell voters what they would do to improve the plan so that their own climate goals can be met.

"We can keep the lights on without frying the planet," said Keith Stewart of WWF-Canada. "But the plan that is on the table today won't get the job done, so we are asking all of the parties what they would do to fix it."

Phasing out Ontario's coal plants is expected to provide the largest share of greenhouse gas reductions in the near future. The Ontario Government's 2007 Action Plan on Climate Change relies on the coal phase-out for to provide at least 44% of greenhouse gas reductions by 2014 and at least 29% of reductions by 2020.

Yet according to the analysis in the Renewable is Doable report commissioned by WWF-Canada and the Pembina Institute, greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector in 2020 will be almost twice what the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) is forecasting. The report laid out a strategy based on pursuing all cost-effective conservation and a greater share of renewable energy that would ultimately cost consumers 11% less than the OPA Plan, and have half of its greenhouse gas emissions.

"Unfortunately the OPA plan is low-balling the real potential for renewable energy and energy efficiency to meet Ontario's electricity demand", says Cherise Burda, Ontario Policy Director with the Pembina Institute. "The nuclear-centred OPA plan precludes the opportunity to deploy clean renewable technology now and begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions today."

"Nuclear power is a dangerous distraction that won't shut down coal for years to come," said Shawn-Patrick Stensil of Greenpeace Canada. "If politicians are serious about shutting down coal they'll commit to clean, modern energy solutions that can be deployed today to shut down coal."

"Ontario is at an energy crossroads. We can invest in conservation and renewable electricity generation or nuclear," said Dan McDermott, Ontario Chapter Director of the Sierra Club of Canada. "There simply isn't enough money available to do both."

A copy of the letter to the party leaders, which explains how the calculations were done, is available at

For More Information:

Maggie MacDonald

Communications Manager

, Climate Change Program



Keith Stewart

Manager, Climate Change Program


416-489-4567 ext. 7257

Cell: (416) 985-5936