Definition: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
- By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services
List of Policy Changes and Cuts:
- Cancelled Green Ontario Fund
- Repealing the Green Energy Act
- Cancelled 758 renewable energy contracts
This Sustainable Development Goal relates to the efforts made to transition to renewable, zero-emissions sources of energy while developing more energy efficiency methods. The importance of this goal is made clear by the effect climate change has had throughout Canada. Increasingly Canada is experiencing more severe weather, flooding and rising temperatures associated with greenhouse gas emissions. In 2018, 70 lives were claimed due to the heat wave in the province of Quebec.
There have been two notable changes concerning affordable and clean energy within the last year. The Green Ontario fund, which was associated with the previous cap-and-trade system (see “Climate Action”) was cancelled. The purpose of the Green Ontario fund was to encourage environmental building upgrades such as windows, thermostats, heat pumps, insulation and solar paneling. This rebate fund was available to small and medium businesses, as well as residents. Since the fund was cancelled, the fear has been that many energy efficient upgrades will become less attractive and inaccessible due to the cost, preventing a speedy transition to higher energy efficient homes. The cancellation of the fund was followed by the cancellation of 758 renewable energy contracts in Ontario, many of which include small rooftop projects that are owned by farmers, school boards, municipalities and First Nations groups.
There was also legislation passed to repeal the Green Energy Act, legislation that was instituted to promote and expand the province’s wind and solar energy supply. This included the mass construction of wind turbines and solar panels across the province. With the repeal of legislation and cancellation of rebate programs that were meant to empower citizens and communities to flight climate change, there appears to be limited initiative to sufficiently address a growing crisis that impacts the health of all Canadians.