Given the seriousness of consequences of environmental pollution, it is essential that we take a precautionary approach to protecting human health and the environment. When an activity threatens harm to human or environmental health, precautionary measures must be taken even if a conclusive cause and effect relationship has not been fully established scientifically.
- Implement a climate change plan that would make Ontario a national leader by adopting clear, tough and achievable targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.
- Commit to aggressive targets to dramatically increase the green share of energy, and to sharply reduce consumption through conservation.
- Make conservation and green energy, including combined heat and power, priorities in planning, regulation, procurement and operation.
- Commit to terminating all coal burning at Ontario's power plants by 2012.
- Cancel plans for the construction of new nuclear plants in Ontario.
- Commit to phasing in a carbon tax and other environmental levies and regulations.
- Ensure that any system of greenhouse gas emissions trading includes: a tight cap on the number of permits in order to realize the above greenhouse gas reduction targets; minimal exclusions of emissions in terms of sectors and emitters; auction of all permits (instead of free distribution); ensuring that permits do not confer a permanent right to emit; and, a ban or strict limit on offsets for activities that lower carbon emissions in other jurisdictions. Offsets must be for real, verifiable, permanent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions trading is clearly inferior to a carbon tax because it is slow and difficult to implement; it is complex; it is bureaucratic; and it invites evasion and corruption. In the event that emission trading is implemented, we must take all of the above steps to minimize its inherent weaknesses, so sadly evident in the current emissions trading programs in Europe.
- Quickly implement the promised expansion of rapid transit, while reviewing proposed or future expansions of highways.
- Expand support for greater access to active transportation and reduce barriers to walking, cycling and other means of active transportation in our communities. This requires a continuous and safe network of bike lanes, sidewalks and trails that is well connected with other modes of transportation.