The Ontario government is building on four years of action fighting climate change with an ambitious plan for our province to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists, and most notably, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that the earth’s climate is changing dramatically, and human industrial activity and the burning of fossil fuels are largely to blame. Before the Industrial Revolution, the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the earth’s atmosphere was about 280 parts per million.
We are now at about 380 parts per million. At 380 parts per million, coral reefs are dying, glaciers are melting, seas are rising and an estimated 35,000 people died in the 2003 European heat wave. According to the IPCC, without significant action to reduce emissions, CO2 concentrations may reach 750 parts per million this century.
Partly, this is because molecules of CO2 remain in the atmosphere for up to 200 years. Which means the CO2 molecules produced by the first cars, the Wright brothers’ plane and the first coal-fired electricity plants may still be airborne.
Climate change is a crisis we caused together, and a responsibility we all share, together. So it’s important we act, not only because we can’t ignore the science, not only because we bear the responsibility, and not only because we have an obligation to our children.
We must also act, because this environmental crisis is also an economic opportunity. As a province with a strong manufacturing sector, plenty of natural resources, and a smart, educated, skilled workforce, there are opportunities for Ontario.
We don’t have to choose between a strong economy and a healthy environment.
Faced with the challenge of climate change, the only way to have a strong economy is to go green. And the only way to go green is to have a strong economy.
Go Green: Ontario’s Action Plan on Climate Change is Ontario’s greenprint for creating solutions, here, together. The time for imagining is over. Ontario is going green – now.
For more information on the Ontario government's actions relating to climate change, see the Go Green Ontario News and Announcements.
The Ontario government is making it easier and more cost effective for Ontarians to go green. Ontarians can take advantage of programs offered by federal, municipal and private partners. By choosing green, Ontarians will save money and help fight climate change. MORE
What will Ontario’s climate be like 20, 50 or 90 years from now? Pick a level of greenhouse gases, a time period, a season, and a region of Ontario, and see what our climate might be like in the future! MORE