Ontario’s Green Energy and Green Economy Act (GEA) was passed in early 2009. The consequences of the GEA and other initiatives to move the province toward a low-carbon future have been as widespread as they have been controversial. Ten years on, a recently elected conservative government has moved to repeal the GEA, pull the province out of the cap-and-trade market it had participated in alongside Quebec and California, and scrap a funding program that subsidized energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies for consumers and businesses. The transition to a low-carbon future in Ontario thus appears to be at a critical juncture – where will we go from here?
This question will form the basis for the 10th Annual Workshop of the Ontario Network for Sustainable Energy Policy (ONSEP), a multi-disciplinary network of researchers based at Ontario universities and focused on the promotion of sustainable energy policy. ONSEP’s 10th anniversary marks an opportune occasion to reflect on 10 years of change in Ontario, to identify the lessons to be learned from the province’s experience in this area for current policy-makers in Ontario and other jurisdictions, and to assess the significance and potential impact of developments set in motion during this period for realizing a low-carbon transition in Ontario.