A leading environmental group is applauding an Ontario law to cut carbon emissions that cause climate change. Canada’s most populous province has created a legal obligation to reduce emissions by 80 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
‘A very important step’
“Overall we think it’s a very important step,” said Gideon Forman, climate change policy analyst with the David Suzuki Foundation, “For the first time we’re entrenching targets that the whole province has to follow to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. And that’s crucially important in fighting climate change.”Listen
The law establishes a cap-and-trade carbon pricing system which means polluters will pay nearly $2 Billion a year, the foundation estimates. The money, it says, will buy some extraordinary environmental protection and many jobs.
Law encourages energy efficiency
Cap-and-trade means fuel costs will go up for consumers. It will add about five dollars a month for heating homes and 4.3 cents for each litre of gasoline. Forman thinks that is reasonable and has the added feature of encouraging consumers to make their homes more energy efficient and perhaps use public transit or more energy-efficient vehicles.
Ontario could inspire others
Forman hopes Ontario’s initiative will inspire other provinces to take similar concrete action on emissions. “Ontario can help to set the pace for the whole country and because our economy is a big one, reducing greenhouse gases in Ontario makes an important contribution to our whole national target of reducing greenhouse gases.”