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Ontario holds second cap-and-trade auction

Ontario's Liberal government will introduce legislation next week to freeze the pay of MPPs for another five years.
Ontario's Liberal government projects the cap and trade program will generate $1.8 billion for this fiscal year. File Photo

TORONTO – Ontario’s second auction in its cap and trade program aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions is taking place today, after the first auction sold out.

The March auction brought in $472 million, which the government says it will put toward programs that reduce emissions and help businesses and consumers adapt to a low-carbon economy.

The system puts caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit, and if they exceed those limits they must buy allowances at auction or from other companies that come in under their limits.

WATCH: Fri, Dec 30: The province’s incoming cap-and-trade program is aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions. Mark Carcasole explains.

What does Ontario’s cap-and-trade program mean for you?
What does Ontario’s cap-and-trade program mean for you?

Despite the first auction’s sell out of current credits, Ontario recently lowered its projections for how much money the program would raise to allow for market fluctuations.

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The Liberal government estimated in last year’s provincial budget that the program would bring in $1.9 billion per year, but this year’s budget projected $1.8 billion for this fiscal year, and $1.4 billion annually starting in 2018-19.

READ MORE: Ontario’s first cap-and-trade auction sells out current allowances

Ontario’s four-year climate change action plan is funded by cap-and-trade revenues and has planned for a range of between $5.9 billion and $8.3 billion, so lower revenue would mean various projects such as social housing retrofits, an electric vehicle incentive program and public transit would see a bit less money.

Results from the second auction are expected at a later date.