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Helping the Economy and Environment

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Helping the Economy and Environment

McGuinty Government Introduces Enabling Cap-And-Trade Legislation

The province is helping industry reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and stay competitive in the emerging low carbon economy.

Proposed legislation being introduced today would, if passed, create the government authority to set up a greenhouse gas emissions trading system within Ontario.

Known as Cap and Trade, the system is a form of market regulation applied to greenhouse gases produced by industry.  It is an effective way to reduce the threat of climate change caused by carbon emissions.  

A discussion paper, called "Moving Forward: A Greenhouse Gas Cap-and-Trade System for Ontario", is now available that will guide consultations over the summer on what Ontario's cap-and-trade model could look like.  It is posted on the Environmental Registry under number 010-6740.

The government anticipates a North American cap-and-trade plan could be in place as early as 2012.

Quick Facts

  • The creation of a cap-and-trade system for industry will help the province meet its climate change commitments to reduce GHG emissions by 6 per cent below 1990 levels by 2014 and 15 per cent by 2020.
  • Ontario has had months of discussions with nine industrial sectors likely to be involved in cap and trade. These sectors are base metal, cement, chemical, electricity, lime, natural gas, petroleum, pulp and paper, and steel. Environmental groups were also consulted.
  • These sectors represent about 40 per cent of Ontario's total emissions in 2007. Electricity alone accounts for 16 per cent (ref: Statistics Canada).
  • Ontario and Quebec formed a working alliance on this issue in June 2008. Together they represent close to 60 per cent of Canada's economy.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“Ontario is taking a leadership role in implementing a cap-and-trade system that can link to an emerging North American system. Our government is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and working with our industries as they transition to the new green economy.”

John Gerretsen

Minister of the Environment



Business and Economy Environment and Energy Government