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Taking Steps to Fight Climate Change, Protect Health

Ontario is continuing to lead North America in fighting climate change and protecting the air that we breathe. Premier Kathleen Wynne announced today that the government is reintroducing legislation that would, if passed, permanently prohibit burning coal solely to generate electricity in the province.

Ontario is the first jurisdiction in North America to eliminate coal-fired electricity. The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act would build on this milestone achievement by prohibiting coal-fired electricity generation going forward.

The government is committed to building a clean electricity future for Ontario to protect our health for generations to come. Acting to prohibit coal-fired power permanently is an important step, because coal-fired power contributes to health-damaging smog. It is also a major source of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases that contribute to extreme weather events, such as tornadoes, flooding and violent rainstorms.

Fighting climate change and improving the quality of the air we breathe is part of the government's economic plan to invest in people, build modern infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

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Climate change is a transformative issue, and one of the most urgent environmental challenges of our time. Ontario is proud to be a leader in the fight against climate change. By eliminating coal-fired power in the province for good, this act would build on the progress we have made in protecting our environment, our health and the air that we breathe.

Kathleen Wynne

Premier of Ontario

The Ending Coal for Cleaner Air Act is a key step in fighting climate change and reducing pollution. This legislation confronts climate change and announces the arrival of Ontario’s first coal-free generation – kids who will grow up breathing air unpolluted by Ontario’s big coal-burning electricity plants, which have emitted smog-causing contaminants throughout our lifetimes.

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

Prohibiting coal-fired generating facilities means better health for everyone. It means fewer children being rushed to emergency departments with asthma attacks, fewer adults hospitalized due to flare-ups of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – and it will mean significant savings for the Ontario economy. The Ontario Lung Association applauds the government for its commitment to reducing air pollution.

George Habib

President & CEO, Ontario Lung Association

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s five coal-fired electricity generating stations at Atikokan, Lakeshore, Lambton, Nanticoke and Thunder Bay have all ceased burning coal.
  • Ontario’s action to eliminate coal-fired electricity is the single largest greenhouse gas reduction initiative in North America.
  • Phasing out coal-fired electricity generation is the equivalent to taking up to 7 million cars off the road when it comes to reducing greenhouse gases.