Toronto, ON – The Clean Economy Alliance, a multi-stakeholder group of over 50 businesses, labour unions, health and agriculture associations, and environmental organizations, applauds the Ontario government’s commitment to address climate change with today’s announcement to put a limit and price on greenhouse gas pollution.
The Alliance explicitly supports carbon pricing as a key element of a comprehensive climate protection action plan. Specifically, the Alliance members agree on key principles which need to guide the province’s approach, including:
The system must be effective and contribute meaningfully to reaching Ontario’s 2020 emissions reduction targets
The system should apply to as large a share of Ontario’s emissions as possible
The system should be fair to those who may be disproportionately impacted such as low-income families and workers
It must also be fair to companies that have taken early action, and address impacts to energy-intensive trade-exposed industries
Revenues from carbon pricing should be dedicated to supporting complementary policies to reduce carbon emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change
“The diverse members of this Alliance have united because we know that pricing carbon is a critical component of any credible strategy to address climate change. Cap-and-trade is working in other North American jurisdictions. And the experiences of those jurisdictions prove that climate action and a strong economy go together,” says Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence. “It’s great to see Ontario joining with the many jurisdictions moving forward on this front.”
“Holcim Canada believes that tackling climate change requires putting a price on carbon. Market based mechanisms have been proven to be effective at reducing global warming emissions. And they ensure the required flexibility to reduce emissions at the lowest possible cost. We’re already operating under Quebec’s cap-and-trade program. It makes great sense for Ontario to link with Quebec, and join a proven system that’s already working,” says Ruksana Mirza of Holcim Canada.
“There is a pressing need to address climate change. And if the revenues from carbon pricing are reinvested in Ontario’s economy, we can create a lot of jobs and build things we want and need, like more transit, more renewable energy, and more energy efficient industry,” says Ken Neumann, Canadian National Director of the United Steelworkers.
“At its deepest level, climate change is an important and urgent health issue. In that light, the announcement that Ontario is moving forward with carbon pricing is welcome news. Climate change is already impacting the health of Canadians, especially those with allergies, asthma and other breathing difficulties. It is great to see Ontario leading the way on this,” says Rob Oliphant, President, Asthma Society of Canada.
The Alliance and its members look forward to working with the province of Ontario over the next year as the details of the cap-and-trade system are worked out and Ontario fleshes out other details of its climate change strategy.
About the CLEAN ECONOMY ALLIANCE: The Clean Economy Alliance is a group of over 50 organizations representing a broad-cross section of Ontarians that have united to urge Ontario to show leadership in addressing the crucial issue of climate change. For more information and a full list of Clean Economy Alliance members, please visit cleaneconomyalliance.ca.
For media requests, please contact:
Naomi Carniol, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 258, 416-570-2878 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org