A funny thing happened on the way to the climate debate

In April 2015, Corporate Knights published an article co-authored by CoLab’s Executive Director Mike Morrice and CoLab Board Chair Matthew Hoffman. Their article profiles progress underway in Ontario to advance the low-carbon economy, including the work of our Network Members in seven regions across the province.

On April 13 in Québec City, the province of Ontario joined the ranks of Québec, California, and a swath of European nations, announcing their plans to implement a cap-and-trade system for pricing carbon and reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as a welcome and critical step in the Province’s ongoing attempts to address climate change and foster a sustainable economy for Ontario. Of course, as expected, the announcement has been met with some criticism – from the political opposition and pundits alike, to the media and international community and more – and it will surely continue as we approach the looming federal election. There are lengths to go to map out the specifics of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system. We can expect rounds of intense debate, lobbying, and consultations in determining how the province will set up this system. This conversation is crucial and it must be focused on ensuring that the system is as efficient, equitable, transparent, predictable, & effective as possible.

Interestingly, businesses and industry have taken less to the chorus of opposition towards this system. Instead, heavy economic hitters located in Ontario and globally have come out in support of a shift toward carbon pricing policy, indicating that even some of the largest emitters are ready for action on climate change. Indeed it is increasingly clear that those who oppose decisive action on climate change are on the wrong side of history. Climate change is both an enormous economic and ecological threat to Canada and the world. A raft of reports (see New Climate Economy, Deep Decarbonization Pathways, and Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission) demonstrate that acting on climate change would not only avert the economic and environmental costs of inaction, but offer huge benefits for the Canadian economy.

Read the full article at Corporate Knights.

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