Ontario is moving forward with a cap and trade program to limit greenhouse gas pollution, reward innovative companies, generate opportunities for investment in Ontario and create jobs while moving to a low-carbon economy.
Today, Ontario posted its draft cap and trade regulatory proposal on the Environmental and Regulatory registries for a 45-day public and stakeholder comment period. This comment period builds on years of consultation with industry and business on the design of a robust, accountable and transparent cap and trade program.
A cap and trade program is a proven way to reduce GHG emissions and fight climate change by giving polluters an incentive to cut emissions. It creates a price on carbon emissions by limiting the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that can come from the economy (the cap) and then allowing those covered by the cap to trade among themselves (the trade) in a flexible and cost-effective way.
On February 24, 2016, Ontario introduced the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act. If passed, this legislation would enshrine into law that all proceeds from Ontario's cap and trade program would be deposited into a new Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account. In turn, every dollar from this account would be required to be invested in a transparent way back into green projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help homeowners and businesses save energy such as public transit, clean-tech innovation for industry, electric vehicle incentives, social housing retrofits.
Fighting climate change is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Ontario’s $325 million Green Investment Fund, a down payment on the province’s cap and trade program, is already strengthening the economy, creating good jobs and driving innovation while fighting climate change — a strong signal of what Ontarians can expect from proceeds of the province’s cap and trade program. Green Investment Fund projects include: more electric vehicle fast-charging stations, energy retrofits for single family homes and affordable housing, support for First Nations and Métis communities, industry and small and medium sized businesses and helping local organizations fight climate change.
- Based on estimates, Ontario expects to generate approximately $1.8-1.9 billion per year in proceeds from its cap and trade program to invest in programs that reduce greenhouse gas pollution, help save families money and reward innovative companies by creating more opportunities for investment in Ontario.
- After introducing its cap and trade program and putting a price on carbon, California’s economy grew at a pace that exceeded the growth of the rest of the U.S. economy.
- The number of jobs in California grew by almost 3.3 per cent in the first year and a half of a cap and trade program, outstripping the national rate of job creation, which was 2.5 per cent over the same period.
- Cap and trade is one component to help Ontario meets its long-term goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050. To help mark progress and keep on track, the province has set two mid-term targets: 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and 37 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.