Environmentally-Friendly Transportation Options Will Reduce Greenhouse Gases

Etobicoke, ON, Aug. 8 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government today announced three new initiatives to encourage commuters and businesses to reduce greenhouse gases, the latest step in the government's climate change plan, announced Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield and Environment Minister Laurel Broten.

"Thousands of Ontario drivers are already going green - we want to encourage even more to do the same," said Cansfield. "By rewarding drivers and businesses who switch to clean fuel-efficient vehicles, we can reduce pollution and help put Ontario companies at the forefront of green innovation."

Today, the McGuinty government announced its plan to begin stakeholder consultations with vehicle manufacturers and environmental groups to develop a green vehicle program that will rate cars, light trucks and commercial vehicles using environmental criteria. Through consultation, incentives will be identified to encourage people to buy green vehicles that will be recognized with an Eco-licence plate, to be launched the summer of 2008.

The McGuinty government is investing $15 million over four years for a pilot to help businesses convert to more environmentally-friendly technologies, such as hybrid power. The project will help the government and industry learn more about the technology, spur investment and help make medium-duty hybrid trucks more affordable for Ontario businesses.

Ontario will also increase the use of cleaner fuel in its own fleet by installing two new ethanol fuelling stations in the province, Minister Broten
announced. These new facilities could also be made available to other users, such as municipal fleets once they are operational.

"Every Ontarian has a role to play in protecting our environment from the effects of climate change," said Environment Minister Laurel Broten. "Reducing our greenhouse gas emissions by using cleaner fuel will make a critical difference in our province going forward."

"Ethanol is an important part of our plan to ensure Ontario has the clean, green energy it needs to prosper and grow," said Energy Minister Dwight Duncan. "Increasing our use of ethanol will help clean up our air and provide significant economic benefits for Ontarians through the development of new technologies, approaches and industries."