Toronto, ON – The Clean Economy Alliance celebrates today’s launch of Ontario’s first cap-and-trade auction. The multi-sector coalition of over 100 prominent Ontario businesses and organizations acknowledges that the beginning of the cap-and-trade program marks a major milestone in the province’s ongoing efforts to stem carbon pollution.

“The first official auction under Ontario’s cap-and-trade system marks the culmination of years of planning and consultation, and what we hope will be a turning point in Ontario’s ambitions for a prosperous low-carbon economy,” says Adam Auer, Vice-President of Environment & Sustainability at the Cement Association of Canada. “With stable and robust measures to protect competitiveness and the right mix of consistent complementary measures, we believe businesses like ours can thrive in Ontario while reducing emissions and helping to build Ontario’s low-carbon and climate-resilient future.”

Ontario’s cap-and-trade system limits carbon pollution in Ontario by placing a cap on carbon emissions, then lowering the cap each year to meet targets enshrined by law. The money raised through cap-and-trade auctions will fund a variety of programs to further reduce harmful emissions and enable the province to reach its pollution reduction targets.

“Cap-and-trade is a key component of Ontario’s comprehensive climate plan and we’re glad to see it moving forward today. Ontario now has a limit on the amount of carbon pollution allowed in the province, and has in place a system that will see that limit decline predictably,” says Keith Brooks, Programs Director at Environmental Defence. “Cap-and-trade allows Ontario to price carbon at the lowest cost possible, while reinvesting the revenue from cap-and-trade will support all kinds of complementary actions, driving us further toward a clean, prosperous, low-carbon economy.”

Ken Bondy, National Coordinator at Unifor notes the importance of involving all Ontarians in a transition to a low-carbon economy. “We support the cap-and-trade program and commitments to dealing with climate change, and we believe that the success of both depends on our ability to demonstrate to Ontario workers that they will not be left behind as economic and environmental change transforms our province,” says Bondy.

Reducing carbon pollution will also have a positive impact on air quality and public health for all Ontarians. “We are very pleased the Ontario government is moving forward with its commitment to the cap-and-trade program,” says Vanessa Foran, President and CEO of the Asthma Society of Canada. “Every conscious effort we take toward reducing emissions, be it through encouraging industry leaders to reduce their carbon footprint through cap-and-trade, to transitioning to a fully clean electricity system, will lead to better air quality in the province, and, in turn, increase the overall quality of life of all Ontarians, especially those living with asthma, allergies and other chronic respiratory conditions.”

The Clean Economy Alliance looks forward to the unveiling of the results from Ontario’s first cap-and-trade auction, and the details of the continued investments the province intends to make to reduce polluting emissions while creating jobs and moving Ontario toward a low-carbon, clean economy.

About The CLEAN ECONOMY ALLIANCE (CEA): The CEA is a group of over 100 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. For a full list of Clean Economy Alliance members, please visit www.cleaneconomyalliance.ca.

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For more information or to arrange interviews, please contact: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell); abraude@environmentaldefence.ca