Every December, Ontario's Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) releases an Annual Planning Outlook, covering electricity supply and demand, generation capacity and transmission infrastructure. This year's report projects that GHG emissions will increase much more steeply than last year's, which was already deeply concerning. The 2021 forecast was for emissions to reach 15 megatonnes in 20 years; now, that number has jumped to 18.6 megatonnes.
This did not happen by accident. It's the result of the provincial government moving backward on climate change for the past three years: backing out of wind and solar projects and removing rebates for electric vehicles. As the demand for electricity increases, the province has neither directly procured more renewable energy, nor opened the electricity market to allow renewable generation to enter the marketplace.
What's at stake?
Ontario's government plans to meet the province's increasing demand for electricity using gas rather than renewables like wind, solar and hydro power. They've already purchased out-of-commission gas plants to fill the gap that will result from Ontario's nuclear reactors being retired or refurbished over the coming decade. Right now, gas powers about 7% of the province's electricity. If the plan to replace nuclear energy with gas, GHG emissions from gas plants would increase 300% by 2030 and at least 500% by 2040, according to the IESO. Find more background on this plan here.
What can you do?
IESO's report hasn't garnered much attention in the news, but it's a good opportunity for parents to reach out to their MPPs and let them know their concerns.
You can cut and paste the text to the right and email to your MPP (Find your MPP's email address here.)
Try to add your own thoughts about meeting Ontario’s growing demand for electricity through renewable energy rather than gas – individual submissions make a strong impact!
Consider copying all provincial party leaders on your email: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Share this link with your networks: family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours and others; encourage them to be aware of the issue and contact their own MPPs.
Want to get your kids involved?
Here's a holiday-themed card they can print out, colour, and send with your email. There's room at the bottom for a message of their own. You could even mail the card to your MPP, or, if you can reach their constituency office, drop it off in person with a copy of your letter.