Ont. system needs work
Ontario’s first year of carbon pricing went well but more work is needed if the province wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday.
In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by the cap-andtrade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year.
The money is meant to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote.
What’s more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is “incompatible” with the province’s climate change law.
But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn’t likely to deliver results faster.
“The research that we’ve seen suggests that changing policies delays progress,” she said.