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April 17, 2015

Ontario to join Quebec and California in Implementing Carbon Cap and Trade System to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

On April 13, 2015, Ontario announced that it would join Quebec and California’s harmonized cap and trade system to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Both Quebec and Ontario called on the Government of Canada to engage with all of the provinces and territories to address climate change caused by GHG emissions.

Ontario’s announcement came a day after the Canadian government publically released letters from the Environment Minister urging provincial and territorial governments to submit updated GHG emissions information. Canada requires the updated numbers to prepare its new federal goal for reduction of GHG emissions in advance of a world summit in Paris this December. The Canadian government was supposed to have submitted its GHG emissions reduction target to the United Nations by the end of March.

Last fall, Ontario announced its ambitious goals of reducing GHG emissions to 15% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. While the Province’s recent closure of the last coal-generating plant was an important step, Ontario is hopeful that setting a price on carbon through the cap and trade system will achieve these targets.

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