Today the Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) released a report in response to the government’s decision to implement a province-wide cap and trade system. With this decision, Ontario is joining a growing number of jurisdictions who are taking action to address climate change, including large emitters like China and the United States.
The report, Clean Profits – Pricing Carbon and Protecting Ontario’s Economy Under Cap and Trade highlights seven key recommendations that government should address throughout the development and implementation process of the cap and trade system. Adopting these recommendations will help to maximize the environmental and economic benefits of the system while minimizing the cost on business.
“Ontario’s business community understands the need to address climate change,” said Allan O’Dette, President and CEO of the OCC. “If designed correctly, the government’s proposed cap and trade system could present significant opportunities for Ontario and make us a more competitive jurisdiction. If designed poorly, however, it could lead to negative outcomes; hurting jobs, the economy, and even our environment.”
To inform this report, the OCC worked with employers of all sizes and across major sectors of the economy, many of whom have practical experience in other jurisdictions that currently employ carbon pricing policies. Based on this consultative process, the report identifies a set of common recommendations regarding the proposed system, including around system design.
The report’s recommendations include:
Conduct and publicly release the results of an economic analysis of the proposed cap and trade system;
Direct cap and trade revenue to efforts that directly facilitate businesses’ transition to a lower carbon economy; and
Ensure that the structural realities of Ontario’s economy are reflected in the design of the system.
“It is important that local businesses have the opportunity to work with the provincial government in order to get the design of this system right,” said Sault Ste. Marie Chamber of Commerce President, Monica Dale. “That is why, as the government moves forward, there needs to be an appreciation of the economic context in which our local businesses operate.”
The OCC encourages the provincial government to continue engagement with all members of the business community throughout the system’s development. By working with businesses to address challenges outlined in this report, the provincial government will be able to achieve its environmental goals while improving the growth and prosperity of Ontario’s economy.