The UN-sponsored Paris Climate Change conference is now underway. Leaders from around the world, including representatives from the province of Ontario, are gathering to discuss the global effort to combat and mitigate the effects of climate change. Ontario already is a climate change leader, many of the actions being discussed at Paris, like closing coal-fired power plants for purposes of electricity production, have already been done in Ontario. In fact, this was the single largest climate-change mitigation measure taken to-date in North America.
Dr. Philip Walsh, an associate professor at Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Energy, recently had a guest column in the Toronto Sun discussing how natural gas can be an ally in the fight against climate change. Dr. Walsh argues that Ontario can continue to show climate change leadership, by embracing natural gas for long-haul transportation and public transit.
Agriculture is the number one industry in Ontario, valued at more than $10 billion. The products and produce of Ontario agribusiness supply markets both local and around the world with nourishing food. And beyond this, they provide jobs that are critical to the Ontario economy. Farms feed cities, both literally and figuratively, with more than 80,000 Ontarians making their living directly on them, and more than 718,000 working in the sector.
Accordingly, the agriculture sector in Ontario is incredibly diverse. From chickens and beef, to tomatoes and pumpkins—there’s produce and product for every season. Within this diversity there are some common themes: hardworking people with a dedication to their businesses, and an industry-wide need for massive amounts of energy.
Unfortunately, some agribusinesses are at a competitive disadvantage, as not all have access to clean, reliable and affordable natural gas.
The Ontario Natural Gas Alliance recently completed a series of interviews with leaders in the agriculture sector in Bruce County, an area not currently served with natural gas distribution.
Take a moment to watch the video below and see how natural gas can make a big difference in the lives of these farmers—and Ontario as a whole.
New research released today from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa suggests Ontario can save billions of dollars in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 million tonnes by 2050 if it can address long overdue transportation issues and implement solutions that include increased reliance on natural gas- and electric-powered vehicles.
The study, which focuses on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Highway 401-407 corridor, takes into account that traffic congestion is already costing Torontonians approximately $6 billion per year due to higher fuel consumption, increased health-care costs and eroded real estate values. By exploring alternative transportation options such as the expansion of natural gas and electric vehicles, especially for heavy-duty trucking fleets, as well as the introduction of a Highway 401/407 rapid transit system throughout the GTA and southwestern Ontario, considerable benefits emerge for both Ontario’s environment and economy.
“The transportation sector is the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario,” says Bob Betts, spokesperson for the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance. “And with major events such as the Pan Am Games magnifying congestion issues, tackling this problem head on has become a clear priority.”
Led by UOIT professor Dr. Daniel Hoornweg, the study was prepared as part of ongoing transportation work through the university’s Jeffrey S. Boyce Research Chair in Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel. The research takes an integrated retrospective view from 2050, and concludes that a long-term approach focusing on clean and affordable solutions is feasible with the use of electric-powered personal vehicles and natural gas-powered buses and heavy-duty trucks. “A large-scale transportation initiative emphasizing mobility, connectivity, integration and leadership is important for Ontario and Canada,” says Dr. Hoornweg.
For a downloadable copy of the full study (in three parts) click on the links below.