Ontario: undermining Guelph’s Climate Goals

Ontario: undermining Guelph’s Climate Goals

Ontario: Undermining Guelph’s Climate Goals

Examining the alternatives

We need a Guelph City Council resolution.

eMERGE Guelph along with nine Guelph organizations were delighted to host Jack Gibbons from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. In this webinar Jack shed a light on how Guelph can once again lead in fighting climate change after long record of city being in the forefront during the coal phase out. Jack drew a road map on how we can exploit new alternative cost effective clean energy sources that will generate economic and social wealth. He also showed us the opportunities to create a more prosperous, healthy and equitable society when transitioning away from fossil fuels to a renewable energy economy that has clear benefits for people and natural ecosystems.

This event was co- sponsored by 9 Guelph environmental groups that want the City of Guelph to show climate leadership once again – this time to phase out the the burning of natural gas and embrace clean energy alternatives to Ontario’s energy plans.

A recording of the webinar can be found on our YouTube Channel here!

The slide deck for this webinar is now available here.


The Government of Ontario is about to make it much harder for Guelph to reach its climate change goals. To replace the aging Pickering Nuclear Station (scheduled to close in 2024), the Province plans to ramp up greenhouse gas pollution from gas-fired power plants over 300% by 2025 and over 400% by 2040. Gas can be comparable to coal in climate impacts. Ontario will be cancelling about 30% of the improvements from the coal phase-out.

Guelph has two aggressive climate goals: 100% renewable energy (in all city facilities and equipment) and net zero carbon for the entire city by 2050 – both thwarted by this one provincial action.

It’s started: The Province recently bought 3 gas plants (for $2.8 billion). Enbridge plans a new pipeline through Hamilton to import fracked gas (a particularly “dirty” type) from the United States.

Fortunately, there is a better way to keep our lights on. We can meet our 2030 Ontario climate target, Guelph’s 2050 targets, and lower our electricity bills by phasing-out gas-fired power plants by 2030 and embracing lower cost, cleaner options.

Here’s how:

● Bring back energy efficiency programs. They are quick-to-deploy and low-cost. Maximize return by paying up to the same price per kWh for energy efficiency measures as we pay for nuclear power (e.g., up to 9.5 cents per kWh).

● Support renewable energy projects, now much cheaper than nuclear power, and retaining dollars in communities.

● Accept Quebec’s offer of low-cost 24/7 power from its massive James Bay waterpower system. Quebec’s reservoirs are like a giant battery to backstop made-in-Ontario renewable power, eliminating the need to use gas-fired power plants. James Bay First Nations support exports to Ontario and would benefit financially.

● Place an interim cap of 2.5 megatonnes per year on Ontario’s gas plants’ greenhouse gas pollution and develop a plan to phase out all gas-fired electricity generation by 2030. Use COVID-19 stimulus funding to fast track these approaches across Ontario

Our city council needs to uphold our climate goals and make it clear that Ontario needs to re-focus its energy and climate plan for the sake of every community. . City council can use its influence at the Large Urban Mayor’s Caucus of Ontario (LUMCO – our mayor is the chair) and at the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO – our city is a long-standing member).

Like our city’s bold resolution on the coal phase out – Council must send a strong message to Queens Park: burning more fossil fuel in an ‘acknowledged climate emergency’ is a recipe for disaster.

Organizations in support of the City of Guelph taking bold action against more climate change pollution are listed below.

  • Council of Canadians-Guelph Chapter
  • eMERGE Guelph
  • Extinction Rebellion Guelph
  • Guelph Green New Deal
  • Guelph Wellington Social Justice Coalition
  • KAIROS Guelph
  • Ontario Clean Air Alliance
  • Transition Guelph
  • Wellington Water Watchers


About Our Speaker


Jack Gibbons| Chair of the Ontario Air Alliance

Jack Gibbons is Chair of the Ontario Clean Air Alliance. Jack has worked on energy and environmental issues in Ontario for more than 40 years. His previous positions include: Economist, Energy Probe; Project Manager, Ontario Energy Board; Senior Economic Advisor, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy; and Commissioner, Toronto Hydro.

Jack has studied economics at the University of Toronto (B.A.), Queen’s University (M.A.) and the University of British Columbia.


Sponsors of this event:


Our Upcoming Event

Register here for our event next week entitled “ Environmental Racism.

42 Carden Street, 
Guelph, ON N1H 3A2
[email protected]

eMERGE Guelph fights climate change by energizing the community to achieve 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

42 Carden Street, 
Guelph, ON N1H 3A2
[email protected]

eMERGE Guelph fights climate change by energizing the community to achieve 100% renewable energy as soon as possible.

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