TORONTO – Ontario’s final cap-and-trade auction before entering a joint market with Quebec and California next year is set for today.
The province launched the program aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions this year and has seen three sell-out auctions, bringing in about $1.5 billion for green projects.
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.
As of Jan. 1, Ontario will join Quebec and California’s carbon market, which has also seen three sold out auctions in a row for current credits.
Critics in Ontario have slammed both the cost to consumers – an extra 4.3 cents per litre to the price of gasoline and about $80 a year to natural gas home heating costs, as well as indirect costs – and the potential cost to the economy.
The auditor general has said that when Ontario links its market with Quebec and California, an estimated $466 million will leave the Ontario economy over three years, because it will be cheaper to buy allowances from those jurisdictions.
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