Ontario Well Positioned to Lead the Global Green Economy | OCC – Ontario Chamber of Commerce

(Toronto – November 3, 2021) – The climate crisis is a growing threat to businesses and individuals around the world, but Ontario is well-positioned to lead in the global green economy. Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) and its partners kick off the Ontario Climate Action Series with the launch of OCC’s latest policy report: The Climate Catalyst: Ontario’s Leadership in the Green Global Economy. The report offers a window into how organizations in Ontario are confronting climate change and what policymakers can do to encourage more sustainable investment and innovation.

“As Ontario emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, we would be remiss to forget about the other systemic threat: climate change,” said Rocco Rossi, President, and CEO of the OCC. “Its impacts are already being felt across Ontario as extreme weather events disrupt livelihoods, infrastructure, access to natural resources, and community well-being. While confronting climate change is a historic challenge, it also elicits opportunities for innovation, job creation, economic development, and local leadership.”

Taking place from Fall 2021 to Spring 2022, the Series will examine the impacts of climate change on communities & businesses, showcase ongoing leadership within Ontario, and encourage governments to unlock further investment and innovation in climate action.

Our main policy recommendations in this report can be summarized under the following themes:

  1. Minimize uncertainty. Improve predictability around climate policies and long-term energy procurement.
  2. Mobilize clean energy solutions. Use flexible regulation, risk-sharing partnerships, tax incentives, and Indigenous-led projects to accelerate investments in a suite of low-carbon energy technologies.
  3. Support cleantech. Invest in research and commercialization, expand skills training, and de-risk private financing for clean technology.
  4. Strengthen climate adaptation. Coordinate strategies across levels of government, make tangible commitments and investments and advance Indigenous reconciliation.

“Organizations across Ontario are investing in the kinds of innovation that will advance both decarbonization and long-term economic recovery,” said Claudia Dessanti, Senior Manager of Policy of the OCC. “Our members are uniquely positioned to tackle the climate crisis with made-in-Ontario solutions in all sectors that are a win-win for both the environment and the economy.”

Enormous thanks to OCC’s partners for making this series possible: Ontario Power Generation, CN, SNC-Lavalin, EaRTH District, University of Toronto, Insurance Bureau of Canada, Enbridge, and Waste Connections.

Read the Report. Learn more about the Ontario Climate Action Series here.

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Partner quotes

“Part of OPG’s climate change pledge is to act as a catalyst for efficient economy-wide decarbonization. That’s why we’re pleased to be part of this series. It is an excellent opportunity for Ontario’s businesses to learn more about how they can help build the green economy and provide recommendations to government to unlock further investment and innovation.” – Heather Ferguson, Senior Vice President, Business Development & Strategy and Corporate Affairs, OPG

“Climate change contributes to more severe weather events and natural disasters. We need to create a culture of preparedness and build a more disaster-resilient country with climate adaptation measures. We can do more today to protect Canadian communities and families from the growing number of severe weather events and their potentially catastrophic impact. We applaud the OCC for the launch of their Climate Action Series Policy Report and highlighting the importance of climate adaptation.” – Kim Donaldson, Vice-President Ontario, Insurance Bureau of Canada

“CN is committed to building a sustainable future by providing clean transportation services to our customers and conducting our rail operations with minimal environmental impact. We are proud to partner with the OCC on the Climate Action Series to highlight opportunities for low-carbon leadership in Ontario.” – Janet Drysdale, CN, Vice-President of Sustainability

“We congratulate the OCC for highlighting the resources Ontario has to fight climate change. U of T researchers and innovators are advancing our understanding of the climate crisis and developing solutions. Our students are enrolling in sustainability-related courses and community-engaged learning opportunities in record numbers. Our campuses are models of sustainable operations, deploying cutting-edge methods to reduce our carbon footprint. And we’re helping to lead local, national and international initiatives aimed at achieving a net-zero world by 2050.” – Meric Gertler, President, University of Toronto

“EaRTH District is pleased to be part of this series and to have an opportunity to connect with Ontario businesses. We are at a pivotal point in time, where our response today to climate change is critical. EaRTH District is about collaboration and partnership, to promote Ontario’s academic excellence and innovation in clean, green, and sustainable technology solutions, as well as to train the next generation of changemakers.” – Andrew Arifuzzaman, Founding Member of the EaRTH District, Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough

“Providing sustainable, reliable, and affordable energy to Ontarians now and in the future will require multiple energy systems working together.  Enbridge is partnering to advance made in Ontario carbon-neutral energy solutions such as Renewable Natural Gas and Hydrogen, which can be readily blended into the traditional natural gas supply, providing cost-effective emissions reduction options for homes and businesses while supporting local economic development” – Cynthia Hansen, Executive Vice President and President, Gas Distribution and Storage, Enbridge Inc.

“SNC-Lavalin’s purpose is to engineer a better future for our planet and its people.  Our ‘Vision for Engineering a Sustainable Society’ is our blueprint of commitments and actions, notably a roadmap for our company to achieve net-zero by 2030.  In line with our purpose and vision, we proudly support the Ontario Climate Action Series and the OCC’s strategic role in ensuring that policymakers and the business community sit at the same table, taking a partnership approach to ensure we all share the best possible path to realizing Canada’s net-zero aspirations.” – Dale Clarke, CEO, Engineering Services Canada

About the Ontario Chamber of Commerce

For more than a century, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) has been the independent, non-partisan, indispensable partner of Ontario business. The OCC’s mission is to support economic growth in Ontario by defending business priorities at Queen’s Park on behalf of its network’s diverse 60,000 members.

For more information, please contact:

Michelle Eaton

Vice President – Public Affairs, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

michelleeaton@occ.ca | 647-243-3556