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Ecojustice defending Ontario’s fight against climate change

Posted by Pierre Hamilton at May 11, 2012 12:12 PM |

Ontario’s Green Energy Act is helping to combate climate change and converting our dirty coal energy generation in Ontario to renewables. We can't let international trade rules halt our progress.

Ecojustice defending Ontario’s fight against climate change

Ontario’s actions in fostering the renewable energy sector in the province are important to the health and well-being of Canadians and are fundamental to ensuring that Ontarians have a clean and healthy environment.

By Hugh Wilkins, staff lawyer

Reversing climate change and developing renewable energy sources is about taking care of the things we depend on for survival, including clean air, water and land. Japan and the EU have filed complaints against Canada to the WTO regarding Ontario’s renewable energy and climate change programme (Find out more here). They say Ontario’s efforts to fight climate change and embrace renewable energy technologies run counter to international trade rules. To them, clean air, water and land are not a relevant consideration when it comes to the legality of subsidies under international trade rules.

We think they are wrong. Ontario’s Green Energy Act is an essential piece of legislation for combating climate change and converting our dirty coal energy generation in Ontario to renewables. At its core, it is about spurring the development of clean energy so that dirty energy supplies can be phased out. The Act’s feed-in tariff (FIT) programme provides incentives to renewable energy suppliers by guaranteeing long-term contracts to buy renewable energy at rates that reflect the costs of investing in these technologies. They are high rates and require that the equipment used to generate this power is sourced in the province. 

Japan and the EU say the domestic content provision under the FIT programme provides an unfair advantage to Ontario renewable energy equipment providers. We say that climate change and renewable energy policies are exempt from such international trade subsidy rules because they protect human, animal and plant life and health and relate to the conservation of exhaustible natural resources, which should be permissible exceptions. We believe the policy objectives of climate change measures like those in the Green Energy Act should not be considered as a ‘benefit’ providing unfair trade advantages.

With the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) and the Graduate Institute Trade and Investment Law Clinic in Geneva, we have voiced these views in a brief submitted this week to the WTO. A WTO panel started hearing the matter in April and will continue its deliberations next week in Geneva. 

We need to ensure that the feed-in tariff and domestic content provision under the Green Energy Act are maintained and not found contrary to WTO subsidy rules. We need to strengthen international trade law to ensure that environmental protection provisions are considered. This matter will impact the manner in which renewable energy policies in jurisdictions across Canada and among WTO member States are drafted. It is a critical case, not just for Canada, but for jurisdictions across the world that want to promote clean energy industries.

Ontario’s actions in fostering the renewable energy sector in the province is important to the health and well-being of Canadians and are fundamental to ensuring that Ontarians have a clean and healthy environment. They must not be jeopardized by international trade rules. We want to live in a world where the sources of energy we use are renewable, energy production does not threaten human lives and health, and energy production does not threaten our climate, biodiversity, ecosystems and lives. We hope to convince the WTO that it should want these things too.

Click here to read our brief.

Could you please answer this for me?

Posted by Lori Griffin at May 22, 2012 03:04 PM
a) How many wind turbines do you have 550m from your home?

b) If the answer is none, how many petitions have you signed to build them there?

c) It appears the vast majority of residents of the GTA, Burlington, Hamilton, Stoney Creek, and all the way out to Oshawa, are in support of Premier McGuinty’s Green Energy Act, which has stripped away the rights of local government and rural citizens to decide whether they want these 600-foot structures blanketing the countryside of Ontario. The shorelines of Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie have already taken on their fair share of turbines.

Here’s my question: If all of the other Great Lakes are so perfectly suited to industrial wind turbines, why are there not an equal number dotting the shoreline of Lake Ontario, specifically in the Toronto area? There is already more than 1,500 mW worth of turbines in Ontario. McGuinty’s goal is 10,000 mW. You could easily fit 2,000, 2.5 mw turbines, if not more, right from Hamilton to Oshawa, thus attaining Premier McGuinty's goal in one fell swoop.

Why are you not actively advocating for this to happen?

Why are we putting these wind turbines so far from the place where consumption is the greatest?

Rural Ontario has already done more than its share. Instead of destroying much needed farmland and fragile ecosystems, isn't it time for the largest urban areas of Ontario to step up to the plate and do their part?

the solution to climate change

Posted by dennis baker at May 22, 2012 03:04 PM
The solution to climate change

The primary source of GHG is fossil fuel burning electrical generating facilities. http://dingo.care2.com/[…]/GHG-emitters-2010.jpg
7 Billion humans generate vast quantities of excrement. I believe this excrement is capable of providing all human electrical demands. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiolysis
Right now hydrogen is perceived as a negative by product, of Nuclear Energy, when it should be the product, as the Pentagon has considered. reference info Request for Information (RFI) on Deployable Reactor Technologies ... DARPA-SN-10-37@darpa.mil
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s[…]484b3aa9d0dfeaaf553&...
Large scale conversions sites are intended to replace fossil fuel powered electrical facilities the Primary Source of Carbon Emissions.
http://www.populist.com/99.12.krebs.blob.html
In what officials now say was a mistaken strategy to reduce the waste's volume, organic chemicals were added years ago which were being bombarded by radiation fields, resulting in unwanted hydrogen. The hydrogen was then emitted in huge releases that official studies call burps, causing "waste-bergs," chunks of waste floating on the surface, to roll over.

Dennis Baker
106-998 Creston Avenue
Penticton BC V2A1P9
cell phone 250-462-3796
Phone / Fax 778-476-2633
dennisbaker2003@hotmail.com
@dennisearlbaker

Please sign our petition

Posted by Lori Griffin at May 31, 2012 06:45 AM
 
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