Environmentalists, automakers applaud Ont.’s $8.3B climate plan

Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association will help drive EV demand.

June 8, 2016   by CP STAFF

TORONTO — Environmentalists and manufacturers alike are welcoming Ontario’s climate change action plan, which will provide billions of dollars in subsidies and incentives to businesses and homeowners to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Details on rebates will come later, but the province will spend up to $8.3 billion on a range of programs that include more energy-efficient heating systems, with the money coming from a cap-and-trade program for polluters that is expected to raise $1.9 billion a year.

The Canadian Vehicle Manufacturers Association and the Global Automakers of Canada said rebates of up to $14,000 for electric vehicles, and a “cash-for-clunkers” program to get older cars off the roads, will help create consumer demand for the vehicles.

However, the manufacturers are looking for more details on the cap-and-trade plan, saying many companies have to make investment decisions soon.

Environmental Defence calls the Liberals’ action plan “a very positive development in climate action,” and Greenpeace says the government is on the right track by trying to phase out fossil fuels and encourage construction of “net zero” carbon homes.

Premier Kathleen Wynne says the province will invest in projects that will “give families and businesses the ability to lower their carbon footprint, and their energy bills.”

However, the Progressive Conservatives calls the plan “a laundry list of Liberal promises” based on money the government doesn’t even have yet.

“I was very concerned today at the manner in which they continually dodged what this is really going to cost Ontarians,” said PC environment critic Lisa Thompson.

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