Canada's Ontario sets 2050 goal for cut in greenhouse gases

Tue Nov 24, 2015 4:55pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Canada's most populous province, Ontario, said on Tuesday it would aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050, although it offered only hints of how it hopes to slow climate change.

Ontario, whose economy depends in part on manufacturing, will outline a five-year plan next year with specific commitments for cutting emissions by 15 percent by 2020 and lay out steps toward reaching later targets, Environment Minister Glen Murray said.

"Climate change is not a distant threat - it is already costing the people of Ontario," Murray said in a statement.

The government listed promotion of zero-emissions and hybrid vehicles, low carbon fuels and energy-efficient buildings as steps to reaching its goal.

Canadian provinces are announcing environment-friendly initiatives ahead of a United Nations conference on climate change that begins next week.

Oil-rich Alberta said on Sunday that it would cut carbon emissions and Saskatchewan's power company is aiming to increase use of renewable energy.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, elected last month, has chosen climate change as a key issue on which to distinguish himself from his predecessor, Stephen Harper.

Murray noted that Ontario's carbon cap and trade system, announced in April, would help reach the goal.

Ontario's government said it has already cut emissions since 2007 by closing the province's coal-fueled power stations and other measures.

(Reporting by Rod Nickel in Winnipeg, Manitoba; Editing by Matthew Lewis)