The Time to Act Is Now
Climate change is here. It’s costing all of us money in rising costs for everything from food to property insurance.
And it’s forcing many of us to change our ways of living. How much time did you spend skating or skiing this winter?
We’re beyond denying the fact that human activity has caused climate change. Now we can and must take action to stop it. That means drastically cutting our greenhouse gas emissions.
Ontario’s solution is cap and trade, a proven way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution while growing the economy.
A cap and trade system is a form of “carbon pricing” — charging polluters for greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon pricing is quickly becoming the norm in countries around the world. Almost nine out of 10 Canadians live in a province where a price on carbon is in place or around the corner. Ontario’s cap and trade program will be linked with California and Quebec under North America’s largest carbon market.
A cap and trade system drives the most cost-effective reduction in greenhouse gas reductions because it provides an incentive to polluters to cut emissions and develop cleaner, greener technologies. It will spur innovation and investment in clean energy, helping to create jobs and foster a strong economy.
It’s already working in places like California, where the state’s economy grew at a pace that exceeded the growth of the rest of the U.S. economy after cap and trade was introduced there.
Cap and trade proceeds will be re-invested transparently in projects that benefit all Ontarians and reduce pollution, such as energy retrofits to help households and businesses becoming greener and save money.
The projects funded by cap and trade proceeds will create new economic opportunities and jobs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions — jobs retrofitting buildings and building green infrastructure, jobs in research and development, and jobs in the emerging clean technology sector.
The expansion of the global green economy could be six times greater than the technology boom of the 1990s. By acting now, we will foster innovation as clean technology becomes more in demand, and as researchers, entrepreneurs and startups rise to the challenge. And we can export our low-carbon goods and services to markets around the world.
Businesses that pollute will pay — and can reduce their costs by reducing emissions. Ontario families will see modest increases in fuel costs, however, we are working to offset that by introducing household programs that will help Ontarians conserve. Additionally, thanks to our early action to off coal household electricity rates will not increase as a result of cap and trade.
Through our $325-million Green Investment Fund, we’re helping homeowners retrofit their homes in order to cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce their monthly energy bills. We’re also investing in technology supports for businesses of all sizes, social housing retrofits, and electric vehicle chargers. This is in addition to our savings programs like the Ontario Energy Support Program, which helps eligible Ontarians with the cost of energy.
Fighting climate change may feel like an impossible task, but together, we can do it. Children born today will never know a world without a changing climate. But if we act now, we can limit those changes and build a greener, more prosperous Ontario for our children and their children.