Dear Minister: I would first like to congratulate you on your new portfolio. I wish you every success in your effort to inform Ontarians on the dangers of human-induced climate change, and to forge consensus in the actions that will be necessary to fight it. I hope that your efforts will include informing the world on the stunning, yes stunning, progress Ontario has already made in the fight against man-made carbon dioxide.
Minister, Ontario has, since 2000, achieved unprecedented carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reductions from its electric power generating sector. Emissions of CO2, the principal man-made global warming pollutant, were more than 40 million tons in 2000. Last year, they were less than 13 million tons. That’s an annual reduction of 27 million tons. I do not know of any other sector, anywhere in North America, that has achieved anything similar, without having had to undergo painful and economically depressing demand destruction.
There is one reason, and one reason only, that this happy result was achieved. That is because Ontario drastically reduced electric power generation from fossil fuels, primarily coal, and increased generation from nuclear plants.
These plants are currently—at eight a.m. on the day after you received your current cabinet portfolio—generating 65 percent of the electricity that is powering Ontario’s schools, hospitals, and subways. They were designed and built right here in Ontario, with Ontario expertise, materials, and skilled labour. They are run by Ontarians, and they run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for hundreds of days at a time.
Minister, please talk about this proud record of successful climate change action. Please inform, and continue to inform, Ontarians about this Ontario—and Canadian—success story. As we recover from the Great Recession, it will be vital for us to remember that through that traumatic event Ontario stayed its course and that we have been world leaders in an area of the greatest global environmental concern. If more jurisdictions followed Ontario’s world-leading example, we could beat this problem and leave a more sustainable and stable world to the next generations.
Once again, congratulations, and I wish you the greatest success in your new portfolio.
My best regards,
Publisher, Canadian Energy Issues