March 3, 2021
Today, Council endorsed a motion calling on the Government of Ontario to phase out its gas-fired power plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The motion was brought forward by Ward 8 Councillor, Matt Mahoney and seconded by Ward 6 Councillor, Ron Starr.
“The increased use of gas-fired power plants by the Government of Ontario is discouraging. It is a major set-back and contradicts what many Ontario municipalities, like Mississauga, are trying to avoid – increasing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Mayor Bonnie Crombie. “For Mississauga, climate change is a key priority. We will continue to take significant action to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more resilient future. Our focus will remain on sustainable practices, improving energy efficiency in our facilities and exploring renewable energy, such as solar energy.”
The City of Mississauga joins a growing number of Ontario municipalities, including Burlington, Hamilton and Kingston, to pass motions calling on the Province to phase out gas-powered electricity production. In 2019, the City also declared a climate emergency and approved its first comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP).
“With climate change being a major global issue, we shouldn’t be reliant on gas-fired power plants. If the Province continues with their plan, there will be a 500 per cent or more increase in greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector by 2040,” said Ward 8 Councillor Matt Mahoney and Chair of the Environmental Action Committee (EAC). “With resounding support from EAC, this was an important motion to bring forward as we have a shared responsibility to work together to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This includes having the Government of Ontario commit to replacing gas-fired power plants with clean energy and low carbon solutions. As a city, we have started laying the foundation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through tangible actions within our Climate Change Action Plan.”
The CCAP sets out ambitious goals to reduce 80 per cent of GHG emissions by 2050, with the long-term goal of becoming a net-zero community.
“With the Government of Ontario’s plan, it will be more difficult for the City to meet its reduction targets,” said Jodi Robillos, Director, Parks, Forestry and Environment. “Over the past few years, the City has made good progress in combating climate change by implementing a Green Fleet and Equipment Policy, introducing hybrid-electric MiWay buses, planting trees through our One Million Trees program and converting streetlights to LED bulbs.”
In addition to the CCAP, the City also has a 5 Year Energy Conservation Plan. The plan addresses climate change and energy usage in City buildings.
“The plan targets a one per cent reduction per year in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions over the next five year in City facilities. It will be increasingly difficult to meet these annual targets as Ontario’s electricity grid becomes more carbon intensive,” said Raj Sheth, Director, Facilities & Property Management.
A copy of the Gas-Fired Electricity Generation Phase Out motion will be sent to the Premier of Ontario, to local as well as to area Members of Provincial Parliament, and other Ontario municipalities including Peel Regional Council.
Stay up–to-date on the CCAP by following @MilivingGreen on Twitter or @SaugaGreen on Facebook. Visit mississauga.ca/projects-and-strategies/city-projects/building-the-climate-change-action-plan/ to learn more about the actions the City is taking to reduce GHGs.
According to the Independent Electricity System Operator’s Annual Planning Outlook, GHG emissions from Ontario’s electricity grid are expected to rise in the coming years as the Province increasingly relies on gas-fired power plants to help meet electricity demand. According to the Ontario Clean Air Alliance, increased reliance on gas-fired power plants to generate electricity will increase GHG emissions by more than 300 per cent by 2030 and by 500 per cent or more by 2040.