Toronto, ON — Bryan Purcell, VP Policy and Programs, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF) made the following statement in response to the Town of Halton Hills’ rejection of a gas plant expansion, which would have increased its carbon pollution capacity by over 40%.
“While international leaders waffle on climate action at COP28, the Town of Halton Hills’ vote to reject gas plant expansion shows real leadership. Today, council put the needs of their community over the interests of the fossil fuel industry.
“TAF applauds council’s decision based on evidence that there are reliable and more affordable ways to keep the lights on. With incoming federal regulations and increasing volatility in the fossil fuel market, procuring new gas generation in Halton Hills would have left Ontario residents financially on the hook for a stranded asset.
“Carbon emissions from electricity increased by 26% in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area last year due to increased use of natural gas on the provincial electricity grid. Unfortunately, the risk of this trend continuing does not end with the win in Halton Hills. Gas plant proposals, like this one, may surface in towns and cities across Ontario in the coming months. Municipalities have the ability and clear authority to say no – as Halton Hills demonstrated today. That means getting ready to say yes to the alternatives, like storage and renewable energy development.
“We’re pleased to see that Ontario’s Independent Electricity System Operator today announced long-term procurements to target 5,000 megawatts of new non-emitting capacity, including low-cost renewables like wind and solar. This too is a good signal that Ontario’s electricity system can and must change direction.
“TAF applauds Halton Hills staff and council for their hard work and energy leadership. We look forward to working with them to plan cleaner, more affordable energy pathways.”
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Julie Leach, Senior Manager, Campaigns and Communications
Jleach@taf.ca | 416-393-6382