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On September 25, 2018, the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario released the 2018 Greenhouse Gas Progress Report: Climate Action in Ontario: What’s Next?

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is an independent officer of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario created by the Environmental Bill of Rights, 1993 (EBR). One of the Commissioner’s responsibilities under the EBR (section 58.2) is to report annually on Ontario’s progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The 2018 Report recommends new climate change legislation that mandates emission reductions to meet “Ontario’s fair share of Canada’s emission reduction obligations” and the requirements of the federal “Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.”

The Report notes that while the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act included emission targets, the new provincial government has “proposed to revoke these targets but has not yet set new ones (although it has promised to do so), nor given any guidance how the new ones will be set.”

The Report suggest at a high level that the essential elements of effective climate legislation are: (1) science-based emissions budgets, (2) a legal obligation to stay within those budgets, and (3) credible, transparent progress reporting. The Report offers the United Kingdom’s Climate Change Act as “the best international model” of legislation incorporating all of these elements.

You can read the full report or download individual sections of the from the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario website at: eco.on.ca/reports/2018-climate-action-in-ontario/

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