Climate change is one of the most urgent issues of our time. It requires strong, collective action to ensure Ontario can achieve deep greenhouse gas reductions while fostering a strong, prosperous low-carbon economy. In February of this year, the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change released a climate change discussion paper that identified carbon pricing as a key climate critical action to help the province address climate change through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. A cap and trade program effectively reduces the amount of greenhouse gas pollution going into our atmosphere by setting a limit on emissions, rewarding innovative companies, providing certainty for industries, and creating more opportunities for investment.
In April 2015, the government announced it would be limiting greenhouse gas pollution by implementing a cap and trade program. Also at that time, it indicated its intent to join the joint cap and trade program implemented by Quebec and California.
Ontario is seeking comments on the design options under consideration for Ontario’s greenhouse gas cap and trade program. Input is being sought on various elements of the program design including timing, scope of the program, setting the caps on greenhouse gas emissions, allowance distribution, price stability mechanisms, market design features, compliance requirements, flexibility mechanisms and enforcement. Feedback will inform the development of a regulatory proposal for a cap and trade program.