Coalition of over 90 groups calls for timely debate and swift passage of Ontario’s Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act

TORONTO, ON – The Clean Economy Alliance urges the members of the Standing Committee on General Government to cooperate on passing the Climate Change Mitigation and Low-carbon Economy Act, which has been hung up in debate for over a week now. The Alliance and its members are supportive of cap-and-trade, and in favour of a revenue-positive system where the proceeds from the auction of permits are reinvested in further reducing carbon emissions.

“We support a price on carbon, and hope this bill passes soon so we can focus on ensuring the cap and trade system works effectively and efficiently,” says Michael McSweeney, President of the Cement Association of Canada and a founding member of the Alliance.

Polling done for Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission shows that recycling revenue back into reducing emissions is the most popular with the public, and it is the most effective use of carbon pricing revenue if the aim is to reduce emissions.

“Cap-and-trade alone is not sufficient to cut carbon in keeping with Ontario’s targets and with Canada’s commitment to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Complementary polices will be needed, and those policies will need to be funded,” says Keith Brooks, Director of Clean Economy for Environmental Defence. “Ontarians support this approach. Let’s get on with it.”

The members of the Alliance have participated in the robust public consultation process for this bill. For example, the Alliance has:

  • Submitted comments to Ontario’s discussion paper on climate change, issued almost a year ago;
  • Responded to the announcement that Ontario had chosen cap-and-trade as its preferred carbon pricing mechanism;
  • Submitted a report to the province with recommendations on the design of the system;
  • Submitted comments to the Environmental Registry in response to Ontario’s paper on cap-and-trade design options;
  • Submitted comments to the Environmental Registry concerning the draft legislation; and
  • Six members of the Alliance have presented to the Standing Committee tasked with making amendments to this act.

The Alliance is unified in its support for a revenue positive system, but is urging for the Act to be amended to ensure greater transparency concerning the use of that revenue.

“Revenue recycling is essential to cutting emissions, and it provides economic benefits. To be credible, funds must be managed transparently, and spending guided by evidence,” says Sarah Petrevan, Senior Policy Advisor for Clean Energy Canada, a founding member of the Alliance. “There are amendments before the committee that would strengthen the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Account, and we urge the members of the committee to focus their attention there, and work together to get this Act passed.”

ABOUT THE CLEAN ECONOMY ALLIANCE:

The CEA is a group of over 90 organizations representing a broad cross-section of Ontarians that united in 2015 to urge Ontario to show leadership in addressing the crucial issue of climate change. The CEA includes prominent Ontario businesses, industry associations, labour unions, farmers’ groups, health advocates, and environmental organizations. The Alliance supports the Ontario government’s commitments to develop and implement a climate change strategy and cap-and-trade program. Its members recognize that reducing greenhouse gas emissions will bring many benefits, including cleaner air, improved public health, and more jobs and business opportunities in the clean economy.

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For media requests, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell); abraude@environmentaldefence.ca