Ontario Names Board Members to Western Climate Initiative
Province Moving Forward On Cap and Trade System
Ontario is moving closer to becoming part of North America's largest carbon market by naming two members to the board of the Western Climate Initiative, Inc., a non-profit, corporation that helps provinces and states deliver cap and trade programs.
Two assistant deputy ministers from the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change--Rob Fleming and Jim Whitestone--are the new members.
Naming these directors signals Ontario's intent to use the Western Climate Initiative's services and trading infrastructure, including its platform for auctioning emissions allowances and a system for tracking emissions allowances, for Ontario's cap and trade program.
A strong, effective cap and trade program will help ensure Ontario curbs greenhouse gas pollution while rewarding innovative companies, providing certainty for industries and creating more opportunities for investment in Ontario.
Fighting climate change while keeping industries competitive is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Ontario intends to link its cap and trade program with Quebec and California, two other member jurisdictions of Western Climate Initiative.
- Cap and trade effectively reduces the amount of greenhouse gas pollution going into the atmosphere by setting a limit on emissions. The “cap” sets a maximum limit on the amount of greenhouse gas pollution that can be emitted by facilities included in the program. Over time, the cap is lowered, reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
- The “trade” creates a market for pollution credits where facilities that do not use all their credits can sell or trade with those that are over their limit.
- The Western Climate Initiative, Inc., was established in 2011 to provide administrative and technical support for member states and provinces setting up cap and trade programs.
- According to the Conference Board of Canada, each $100 million invested in Ontario’s climate-related technologies is estimated to generate a gain of $137 million in GDP, $25 million in tax revenue and 1,400 new jobs.