Cap-and-trade withdrawal threatens to derail municipal climate progress across Ontario

For Immediate Release 

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. The Urban Climate Alliance researched where funding from carbon pricing has gone so far in Hamilton, Oakville, Ottawa, Toronto and Windsor. In Toronto alone, more than $50 million was designated this year for investments in climate action. 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. 

“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. “In Toronto, the cap and trade program revenues were expected to provide up to $300 million for repairs. This would not only make units more comfortable and energy efficient for low-income residents, but would also help prevent the closure of social housing units."

“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.  


For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact: Dusha Sritharan 416-596-0660 (office), 416-473-7918 (cell)