For Immediate Release: Cap-and-trade withdrawal threatens to derail municipal climate progress across Ontario
July 10, 2018
(Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor) – The Urban Climate Alliance – a coalition of five city-level Ontario environmental organizations – has researched the potential impact of provincial withdrawal from cap-and-trade and found that cities are facing a massive funding gap. Hundreds of millions of dollars of cap-and-trade revenues have already been directed to projects in Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor that will help fight climate change, with even more money anticipated for planned projects. The province’s withdrawal from the cap-and-trade program, with no clear alternative funding stream identified, threatens to derail municipal climate progress across Ontario.
The province’s cap-and-trade withdrawal leaves Ontario cities in a difficult position. With such a large funding gap, cities will struggle to continue ambitious climate program commitments using their limited tax base. “Money from the cap-and-trade program was helping Ontario cities fight climate change, but it was also making them more livable and dynamic,” said Robb Barnes, Executive Director of Ecology Ottawa. “One of the biggest benefits from provincial investments in cities has been money for social housing repairs” said Dusha Sritharan, Climate Change Campaigner at Toronto Environmental Alliance.
The Urban Climate Alliance researched where funding from carbon pricing has gone so far in Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor. Already, money has been directed to a wide range of climate programs, including:
- The development of community energy plans;
- Upgrading energy efficiency in municipal buildings;
- Retrofitting social housing to modernize the building stock while reducing greenhouse gas pollution;
- Purchasing electric buses and low-emissions vehicles;
- Building more pedestrian- and cycling-friendly streets; and
- Scaling up the use of renewable energy.
“In Oakville, cap-and-trade money is already helping the Town of Oakville develop a community-wide energy plan, and build over $600,000 in cycling infrastructure. Oakville had applied for $8.1 million in cap-and-trade program revenues to support the purchase of battery electric buses for Oakville Transit, which would have reduced greenhouse gas emissions and had the added benefits of reducing noise pollution and increasing ridership” said Giuliana Casimirri, Executive Director of Oakvillegreen. “We are extremely concerned that a critical source of funding for municipal climate change action has been lost!”
For further information, please contact:
Oakvillegreen Conservation Association
The Urban Climate Alliance is a collective of urban-based environmental groups made up of Ecology Ottawa, Toronto Environmental Alliance, Environment Hamilton, Oakvillegreen Conservation Association and Citizens Environment Alliance (Windsor).