Ontario to adopt cap-and-trade system to battle climate change

The cap sets limits on pollutants and the trade allows companies to buy and sell emission allowances

Ontario will adopt a cap-and-trade plan to fight against climate change, says Premier Kathleen Wynne. The cap sets limits on emissions and under the trade part of the system, companies can buy and sell emission allowances.

Wynne says climate change is already imposing costs on society, damaging crops and increasing insurance claims, and warns the costs of not taking action will only get higher. Right now, she says, companies are allowed to spew pollutants into the atmosphere for free, but everyone is paying the costs, and she dismisses claims cap-and-trade amounts to a tax grab.

And she says cap-and-trade is a market solution, not a regulatory one, and will provide certainty for industry.

A background paper provided by the government says gasoline prices rose two-to-3.5 cents a litre in Quebec when it adopted a cap-and-trade system.

Environment Minister Glen Murray says the government will consult the public as it develops the details for the cap-and-trade scheme by October.

She says money raised by the cap and trade scheme into growing the economy and fighting emissions, such as funding more public transit projects.

Wynne heads to Quebec City later today to sign a cap-and-trade deal with Premier Philippe Couillard, and they will be joined Tuesday by other premiers and territorial leaders for a climate change summit.

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