Cherise Burda, Ontario Policy Director for the Pembina Institute, made
the following statement in response to cap and trade legislation to be
tabled today by the Government of Ontario. The legislation, which will
amend the Environmental Protection Act, enables the provincial
government to implement a cap and trade system but leaves critical
details such as targets to future regulations:
“In delaying the start of its cap-and-trade system for two years from
its originally stated start date of 2010, Ontario has passed up an
opportunity to demonstrate true leadership on the climate change file. As British Columbia has shown with its carbon tax, we don’t need to
wait to put a price on pollution.
Taking action now, instead of delaying, would put Ontario in a much
stronger position to shape climate change regulations in North America,
provide much-needed certainty for industry, avoid possible punitive
measures from the U.S., and increase the chance of Ontario meeting its
climate change goals.
Although Ontario has demonstrated a commitment to climate leadership in
Canada, much more remains to be done. Ontario’s continued credibility
will depend on filling in the blanks in the Climate Change Plan – and
especially the regulations for cap and trade – by the time the
government shows up at the critical UN climate conference in Copenhagen
The Pembina Institute is a non-partisan sustainable energy think tank.