Ont. sys­tem needs work

Lethbridge Herald - - BUSINESS & AG NEWS - THE CANA­DIAN PRESS — TORONTO

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.

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