Have Your Say on Cap and Trade

The legal challenge regarding cancellation of Ontario’s Cap and Trade program has made the Ontario government realize that they have to follow the environmental bill of rights process which requires public consultation. The deadline for comments is October 11, so submit your comments at this link now before you forget.

Here are some suggested comments, but of course feel free to add your own.

  1. The best market-based way to reduce greenhouse gases is a price on carbon, either a direct tax or a cap-and-trade system. In both cases, the government can return the income from these to the people, so it is not a “tax grab”. The other alternative is to use the income to provide incentives for better home insulation, buying electric cars, and developing new low-energy technologies.
  2. Eliminating the Cap & Trade program has already has a negative impact on the economy in the form of the loss of local contractor jobs supported by home energy retrofit programs.
  3. About 40% of our greenhouse gases come from home heating and 30% from transportation, mostly gas cars. We have to reduce these to reach our current target of 30% below 2010 levels by 2030.
  4. Canadians produce about 20 tons of greenhouses gases per person per year, compared to about 9.2 tonnes per person in Norway (another northern country), 6.9 tonnes per person in Europe on average, 7.7 tonnes per person in China, and 1.9 tonnes per person in India.
  5. A recent paper (reported here in Huffington Post) says that if we dramatically reduce greenhouse gases within the next 3 years, the resulting “grand economic transformation could bring a $26 trillion economic windfall, create 65 million new jobs, and avoid 700,000 early deaths linked to air pollution ? by a conservative estimate.”. We in Ontario could be leading the way towards these economic benefits, not running and hiding in the past.
  6. Another recent scientific study (reported here in The Guardian) says that we must totally stop burning fossil fuels (in houses or in cars) within just 10 to 20 years, to avoid runaway climate change that may destroy all life on Earth.

Remember, the deadline for comments is October 11, so submit your comments at this link now before you forget.