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CAC supports Ontario Climate Action Plan


June 9, 2016
By Cement Association of Canada

June 9, 2016 – The Cement Association of Canada (CAC) congratulates the Ontario government and the leadership being shown by Premier Wynne and Minister Murray on the release of its world-leading Climate Action Plan. This plan will help ensure that Ontario meets and exceeds its 2020, 2030 and 2050 GHG reduction targets.

Furthering its leadership in phasing out coal from the electricity sector, the Wynne government is now enabling emissions-intensive trade-exposed (EITE) industries, like cement, to reduce their own reliance on coal. The Plan earmarks $40-$60 million to help EITE industries across Ontario move away from coal and develop the necessary supply chains so we can better utilize alternative low carbon fuels. The result for Ontarians will be lower GHG emissions, cleaner air, and a more competitive industrial sector.

“Day after day we see the impacts of climate change on the news. Today, I’m happy with approaches that are laid out in the climate action plan which will help industries, like cement, reduce their GHG emissions while remaining globally competitive. We look forward to continuing to work with the Ontario government on the next steps to ensure that Ontario achieves its GHG reduction targets.”

We were also pleased to see that the Ontario government is doing its fair share by signaling how it will move forward with life cycle assessment and life cycle cost assessment to use the power of procurement to drive change while saving taxpayer dollars. Every year, Ontario spends almost $14 billion on infrastructure which can be used to reduce GHG emissions while helping Ontario build the next generation of public infrastructure.

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We are equally buoyed by the government’s commitment to develop service standards for permit approvals. This will help ensure that GHG-reducing innovations can be brought into use more quickly while still protecting the environment. Business requires certainty in order to make investments in Ontario and service standards will assist in this certainty.

Our members appreciate the collaborative approach that the Wynne government took in developing this plan. The comprehensive policy proposals that were consulted on over the past 18-24 months have ensured that everyone had a fair chance to make their case for how Ontario’s cap and trade system should be designed. We recognize that this is the start of the Climate Plan in Ontario and we look forward to continued interactions with the various Ministries to ensure the competitiveness of our industry is continually addressed.

The changes outlined in the Climate Action Plan will help ensure our industry and others remain competitive in Ontario and in other markets in North America as we move toward a low-carbon future.

In Ontario, three million tonnes of cement are produced every year for the concrete needed to build, maintain and revitalize our public and private infrastructure. 98 per cent of the fuel currently used for cement manufacturing in Ontario comes from coal and petcoke. As an industry, we are working to reduce our coal use by 20 per cent by 2021. The average alternative energy substitution rate in Europe is 19.4 per cent, with rates in several Western European nations exceeding 30 per cent.