Ontario Gives Green Energy Act the Green Light



    
    A first for North America - Ontario's Green Energy and Economy Act
    becomes law
    

    TORONTO, May 14 /CNW/ - Members of the Green Energy Act Alliance, a
coalition of leading environmental groups, industry associations, farmers and
labour groups, were at Queen's Park today to congratulate the Liberals and NDP
on the adoption of the Green Energy and Economy Act. The Act outlines an
ambitious and globally significant strategy to improve conservation, increase
renewable energy generation and create green jobs.
    "We applaud the government and the NDP members of the Legislature for
passing this groundbreaking legislation. Today, Ontario enters a new energy
paradigm," said Deb Doncaster, Campaign Chair of the Green Energy Act
Alliance. "The Act is a clear signal to the global renewable energy community
that Ontario is open for business."
    "The American Council on Renewable Energy congratulates Ontario and all
of Canada for this outstanding leadership on the adoption of renewable
energy," said Michael Eckhart, President of the American Council On Renewable
Energy. "This kind of policy leadership is beneficial not only from a climate
and environmental point of view, but it is also an investment in new companies
and new jobs."
    The Act aims to improve conservation programs, promote investment in
renewable energy projects through North America's first feed-in tariff
program, and create green jobs. The Act, introduced in November 2008, is the
cornerstone of the government's plan to put Ontario on a path towards reducing
Ontario's greenhouse gas emissions, while becoming a leader in the emerging
global renewable energy sector.
    "Less than a year after our World Wind Energy Conference in Kingston, the
government of Ontario kept their promise and laid the foundation for a boom of
renewable energy in the province, based on the first feed-in tariff
legislation in North America," said Stefan Gsänger, Secretary General of the
World Wind Energy Association. "Today's passing of the Ontario Green Energy
Act represents an historic international milestone as the Act promises to be
the most advanced piece of renewable energy legislation in North America."
    "Today's adoption of the Green Energy Act by the Ontario Legislature
represents an historic paradigm-shifting legal milestone in the imperative
transition to a renewable energy system in North America," said Dr. Hermann
Scheer, General Chair of the World Council of Renewable and Member of the
National Parliament of Germany.
    A poll released in late April by the Green Energy Act Alliance
demonstrated clear support across the province for the proposed Green Energy
and Economy Act. Eighty-seven per cent of respondents said they supported the
proposed Green Energy and Economy Act and support was widespread across the
province with 93 per cent support in Northern Ontario, 89 per cent support in
Toronto and 88 per cent support in the GTA/905. Respondents predicted the top
two benefits from the Act would be reducing greenhouse gases and creating
jobs.
    "The Ontario Federation of Agriculture works for a profitable and
sustainable future for its members. We see the Green Energy Act as an
opportunity to achieve that," said Don McCabe, Vice President of the Ontario
Federation of Agriculture. "We will work diligently with the government to
make sure that proper regulations are achieved."
    "With today's passage of the Green Energy Act, and the investments to
support it, Ontario is starting down the road to a green jobs future," said
Ken Neumann, National Director of United Steelworkers of Canada. "The members
of our union are ready and eager to produce the next generation of clean
energy products and parts, such as steel for windmills and glass for solar
panels. The future of manufacturing in Ontario lays, in part, in the green
jobs of the future."
    "This is an exciting time for Ontario; it's never been clearer that
environmental solutions and economic solutions are one and the same," said Dr.
Rick Smith, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. "Today, Ontario not
only takes action on its international obligation to reduce greenhouse gases
and pollution, it becomes a leader in an emerging industry."
    A recent report released from the Political Economy Research Institute at
the University of Massachusetts-Amherst estimated that 90,000 jobs per year
could be created through investments in conservation, renewable energy and
upgrades to Ontario's electricity grid. The investment criteria used in the
report is similar to the level of investment expected under the new Green
Energy and Economy Act.

    About the Green Energy Act Alliance: The Alliance's vision is to make
Ontario a global leader in green energy development through the use of
renewable energy, distributed energy and conservation, creating thousands of
jobs, economic prosperity, energy security, while ensuring climate protection.
Founding groups include: the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association, Community
Power Fund, the David Suzuki Foundation, Environmental Defence, the First
Nations Energy Alliance, the Ivey Foundation, the Ontario Federation of
Agriculture and the Pembina Institute. www.greenenergyact.ca





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Jennifer Foulds, Environmental Defence, (416) 323-9521 ext. 232, (647)
280-9521(c); Deb Doncaster, Community Power Fund, (416) 824-4866 (c); Bob
Gallagher, United Steelworkers, (416) 544-5966, (416) 434-2221 (c)


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