In Ontario, Canada, more than 50 organisations have united under the ‘Clean Economy Alliance’. The Alliance represents a broad cross-section of the community in Ontario, including businesses, labour unions, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture, health charities and environmental groups. The Alliance was formed to urge Ontario to show leadership in addressing climate change, and to show support for government commitments on climate change.
“The members of this alliance have come together because we know that dealing with climate change is the right thing to do. But it’s also a good thing to do: good for communities, good for employment, good for our economy, and good for our environment,” said Tim Gray, Executive Director, Environmental Defence. “Any claims that carbon pricing will damage the economy should be dismissed. Jurisdictions around the world are putting a price on carbon. In those places, the sky has not fallen, but emissions have.”
Among the members of the Alliance are the steel and cement sectors. Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director of the United Steelworkers, said that the Steelworkers have long believed that climate change is ‘a serious threat’ that must be addressed. He added: “we also know that, from building more renewable energy, increasing energy efficiency, and building public transit, addressing climate change can create more jobs”.
“Ontario’s largest climate change initiative – the closure of the coal plants – was also one of the most significant advances we’ve made to improve public health. In 2005, there were over 50 smog advisories in this province. Last year, there were none,” said Rob Oliphant, Asthma Society of Canada.
Michael McSweeney, President and CEO of the Cement Association of Canada added: “Climate change is the greatest challenge of our time, but one we believe can be addressed in ways that support a strong and innovative economy. A price on carbon is an important part of the solution, as are supportive policies and investments in resilient low-carbon communities. The cement industry has been doing its part and stands ready to do more. We hope others will join us.”
“Thanks to Ontario’s leadership on climate change, Ontarians are starting to have a taste of what business looks like in the clean economy. This province is home to 35 per cent of Canada’s cleantech companies and the sector is poised for tremendous growth in the years ahead. Strong government policy will ensure that Ontario-based businesses stay ahead of the curve on low-carbon innovation, and enjoy a greater share of the global market for clean technologies,” said Tom Rand, MaRS Cleantech practice lead.
In addition to articulating the benefits of climate action, the alliance has outlined some principles that should guide the province’s approach to carbon pricing. Ontario has committed to announcing what approach it will take sometime this spring.
For more information about the Clean Economy Alliance, including a list of members, please visit cleaneconomyalliance.ca
Adapted from press release by Katherine Guenioui
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/15042015/cement-industry-joins-ontario-clean-economy-alliance-684/