NDP's Greenest Tour sets standard by reducing greenhouse gas emissions

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - NDP Leader Howard Hampton today unveiled the
first part of his Greenest Tour plan for the upcoming Ontario election.
Arriving in a Ford Escape Hybrid, complete with electric motor, regenerative
braking and a fuel-efficient gasoline engine, Hampton announced he would be
sacrificing the comfort of a campaign tour bus in favour of reducing his
carbon footprint during the provincial election.
    "Every Ontarian wants to take action to reduce greenhouse gases because
we are concerned about our planet and the future our children will inherit.
That's why I'm replacing one of our campaign tour buses with a cleaner hybrid
- to reduce our campaign's greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global
warming," Hampton said.
    By taking one of the campaign tour buses off the road and replacing it
with a hybrid vehicle, Hampton's Greenest Tour will reduce greenhouse gas
emissions by 24 tonnes, a 25-per-cent cut from his 2003 election campaign.
Over 30 days, the campaign tour bus is expected to crisscross the province and
cover more than 27,000 kilometres.
    "Reducing the amount of pollution we produce is one of the first
principles we have applied to our Greenest Tour. We'll still have a range of
campaign vehicles available for the tour, but we looked at our needs and tried
to identify areas where we could improve. We opted to go with a smaller hybrid
vehicle instead of a second bus for the leader and staff," said Hampton.
    In addition to cutting the campaign's greenhouse gas emissions, Ontario's
NDP has also partnered with CarbonZero, a Canadian carbon offsets company that
helps consumers and businesses neutralize their emissions through offset
projects like energy retrofits and renewable energy development.
    Some of the projects under consideration by the NDP for credits include
solar hot water projects for community housing residences and church
residences in Toronto and Etobicoke; renewable energy projects in a First
Nations community; and solar hot water projects for indoor and outdoor pools
in Mississauga and Kitchener.
    "We recognize that global warming is a serious problem, caused primarily
by the greenhouse gases released from activities like driving, flying,
heating, cooling and cooking. It would be impossible to eliminate our
emissions completely during the tour, which is why we have chosen to take
responsibility for the greenhouse gas emissions that our tour will produce by
first reducing them and second by purchasing carbon offset credits to cover
the balance," said Hampton.
    Buying carbon offset credits is based on the idea that, if you add
polluting emissions to the atmosphere, you can subtract them from somewhere
else by purchasing carbon offset credits. These credits represent emission
reductions achieved by green energy projects elsewhere. By purchasing credits,
we can apply them to our own emissions and reduce our net climate impact.
    The NDP is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and is taking
concrete steps to address global warming.
    "The NDP doesn't just talk the talk. We pride ourselves on walking the
walk," Hampton said.

For further information:

For further information: Media Inquiries: Jon Weier, (416) 591-5455

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