Citizen Action Monitor

Ontario Conservatives way behind Liberals and NDP in promoting clean energy policies

No 281 Posted by fw, September 20, 2011

Each party has plans in its platform to keep our lights on and build transportation infrastructure,” says Cherise Burda, director of Ontario policy for the Pembina Institute. “But when it comes to building a clean energy future for Ontario, the Liberals and NDP are far ahead of the Progressive Conservatives.” Pembina Institute`s analysis of three parties` platform commitments

The above passage is an excerpt from Pembina’s September 20, 2011 email announcing the release of a new 17-page report titled, Energy, climate and the 2011 Ontario election.  The Pembina analysis compares Ontario election promises on clean energy, climate action and sustainable transportation.

I acknowledge at the outset that I intend to vote NDP on October 6. Although I support the Liberal energy policies, I cannot overlook Liberal Windsor MPP Sandra Pupatello’s disappointing non-response to last year’s G-20 abuses of citizen rights, an issue that hasn’t received much if any media coverage of the election campaign.

Here`s the full text of the Pembina email —

New analysis of the election promises made by Ontario’s main political parties has identified clear leaders in building the province’s clean energy economy.

A detailed platform analysis released today by the Pembina Institute, a national non-partisan sustainable energy think tank, compares the commitments the Ontario Liberal, NDP and Progressive Conservative parties have made on a range of sustainable energy priorities. The analysis looks at where the parties stand on issues such as investing in renewable power generation, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, creating incentives for energy conservation and expanding transit systems.

“Each party has plans in its platform to keep our lights on and build transportation infrastructure,” says Cherise Burda, director of Ontario policy for the Pembina Institute. “But when it comes to building a clean energy future for Ontario, the Liberals and NDP are far ahead of the Progressive Conservatives.”

Overview of rankings

The parties were ranked according to how their commitments aligned with the policies recommended by the Pembina Institute, prior to the election. Those recommendations aim to ensure Ontario’s transition toward a clean and sustainable energy system continues. (Note: For a more detailed breakdown of the parties’ rankings, please see the background section below, or download the full analysis.)

The key policies that lead to high scores were maintaining the province’s feed-in tariff for renewable energy, ensuring that transportation policies would deliver a reduction in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, and developing a credible plan to meet Ontario’s climate commitments.

“Ontario’s Green Energy Act is modeled off the most successful renewable energy policies in Europe – policies that create the long-term market stability necessary to attract continued investment and create jobs,” said Tim Weis, director of the Pembina Institute’s renewable energy program. “Already, some of the parties’ proposals are introducing significant market uncertainty, since they could re-write or even eliminate the rules that have attracted recent investments. Market uncertainty could put the future of Ontario’s green electricity economy in jeopardy, and risk undermining the province’s role as a North American leader in this growing global industry.”

For full details about the Pembina Institute’s policy recommendations, ranking criteria, and the comparison of Ontario party positions, please see our 17-page detailed platform analysis.

Summary of policy ratings (Note: ratings are out of 4. I have added the totals and percentages)

LIB NDP PC
Green Energy
1/ Implementing effective policies for developing renewable energy 4 2 0
2/ Phasing out non-sustainable sources of energy 2 4 2
3/ Pursuing all cost-effective energy conservation measures 3 3 0
Sustainable Transportation
1/ Regulating and encouraging cleaner vehicles, including electric vehicles 3 1 0
2/ Investing in expanded rapid transit infrastructure 3 3 0
3/ Reducing traffic congestion and providing relief from gas prices through policies that reduce fuel consumption and provide commuting options 3 2 1
Climate Action
1/ Making a plan to reach Ontario’s GHG reduction targets 2.5 2 1
2/ Putting a price on GHG pollution 2 2 0
TOTALS 22.5 19 4
% Out of a possible perfect score of 32 70% 59% 13%

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