Ontario is investing a total of $1.4 billion in 2017-18 to improve school buildings by repairing and upgrading elements such as roofs, flooring and plumbing systems. Included in this investment is $200 million from the new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF), which the government launched using allocated cap and trade proceeds as part of the province’s Climate Change Action Plan.
Ontario hopes to meet legislated provincial targets to cut greenhouse gas pollution to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050. The Climate Change Action Plan includes support for energy-efficient retrofits for schools, businesses, universities, colleges, houses and social housing apartments.
The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund will support energy-efficient retrofit projects at schools, including the installation of high-efficiency lighting, building automation systems, energy-efficient windows and solar energy and geothermal systems to make greener, healthier schools.
In recent years, the province has significantly increased the amount invested per year in school repairs and renewal. Since 2013, Ontario has invested nearly $10 billion to renew schools and provide students with better, safer and healthier learning environments.
“Energy-efficient repair and renewal projects are an important investment in the well-being of Ontario’s students,” said Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, in a press release. “By reducing greenhouse gas emissions from schools and keeping schools in a state of good repair, we can provide them with healthier learning environments for years to come.”