04/13/2015


Premier Kathleen Wynne announced that the Province will be creating a cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The Premier said any revenues from cap and trade would go toward actions to reduce greenhouse gas.

Cap and trade limits greenhouse gases by setting an emissions target for all industries.  If an organization cuts emissions below its allowance, it can sell the remainder as a credit.  If an organization produces more greenhouse gases than it is allowed, it will need to buy credits to cover the difference.  With today’s announcement, the Province will join its cap and trade market with Quebec and California allowing Ontario organizations to buy and sell credits in a bigger marketplace.  This means that the details of the plan to reach the 2020 pollution reduction goal will be worked out next.  AMO will ensure that the municipal voice is part of that work.

As Minister Murray has said on various occasions, including his March meeting with the AMO Board of Directors, municipal governments have been at the forefront of climate change.  There are many examples of municipal actions to protect residents from extreme weather and cut greenhouse gases such as:

  • increasing transit, walking, and biking
  • upgrading buildings, streetlights, and arenas to use less energy
  • buying lower emission vehicles
  • creating green building standards for new development
  • creating communities where people can live and work
  • separating stormwater and sewer systems to protect against flooding and storm back up.
To cut greenhouse gas emissions, Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy must help municipalities by reinvesting proceeds from the program to help fund communities so they can continue to expand these services.

In 2009, the provincial government amended the Environmental Protection Act to allow the government to create a greenhouse gas emissions trading system.  Under the amendments the government must create a separate account for these revenues and use funds collected under the cap and trade system for greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

AMO’s new Climate Change Task Force meets later this month and will provide input to the government on how cap and trade and Ontario’s Climate Change Strategy can support municipal action on climate change and ensure that municipal needs are taken into account.  AMO’s Task Force will reflect the diverse interests of Ontario’s many communities and local economies.