One year ago, the last coal-fired electricity generating station in Ontario went cold. With the end of coal burning at the Thunder Bay Generating Station, the province achieved something many thought would never happen: the elimination of a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions, toxins like mercury, lead and arsenic, and a slew of potent smog builders.
It took 17 years of campaigning to see the end of coal in Ontario, but it was more than worth the time and effort. Ending the dirty coal-fired electricity era was the climate equivalent of taking seven million cars off the road.
We learned a lot over those 17 years — about how to make an effective case for a paradigm shifting change, how to keep the momentum building, and how to bounce back from major setbacks. We’ve now captured some of these lessons in a new comprehensive report: Ontario’s Coal Phase Out – Lessons from a Massive Climate Achievement . And the biggest lesson may be that big change is possible and that we do not have to simply accept the status quo.
In 1997, the Ontario Clean Air Alliance was formed with the purpose of ending coal use in Ontario and pushing the province toward a 100% renewable energy future. It was a small organization with big ambitions. But thanks to the support of millions of Ontarians, we achieved our first goal – ending coal use. Now we are focused on achieving the second – moving to a 100% renewable energy future.
We know we can get there, with your help. Thanks for being part of this incredible journey with us.
Jack Gibbons, Chair
Angela Bischoff, Outreach