Toronto Sun, Lorrie Goldstein
When it comes to addressing climate change, former Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty and current Premier Kathleen Wynne deserve credit for one significant thing. By eliminating Ontario’s use of coal to produce electricity in 2014, they can rightfully claim to have successfully completed one of North America’s largest efforts, ever, to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions linked to climate change.
True, McGuinty originally promised to do it by 2007 in the 2003 election that brought him to power and the Liberals were seven years late in fulfilling his promise. But they did get it done and it is significant. Globally, electricity produced from coal is the single greatest cause of industrial greenhouse gas emissions, dwarfing minor contributors like Canada’s oilsands and, in fact, global oil production in general. China gets 80% of its electricity from coal, India 70%, Germany 45%, the U.S. almost 40%. Canada gets less than 11% of its electricity from coal and Ontario 0%.
The problem is the McGuinty and Wynne governments claimed they eliminated coal use by investing billions of public dollars in wind and solar power. That claim is nonsense. In 2003, coal provided 25% of Ontario’s electricity. Today, wind and solar power, mostly wind, provide 4% of Ontario’s electricity.
Obviously, it is mathematically impossible to replace 25% of electricity power generation with 4% of electricity power generation. What the Liberals actually did was to replace coal-fired electricity with nuclear power and natural gas-fired electricity. Read article