Ontario’s new climate action program could free up badly-needed funds to expand transit in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Toronto Atmospheric Fund VP of Programs and Partnerships Mary Pickering writes in a recent blog post.
“The proposed cap and trade program could represent $1 to $2 billion in new annual revenues, introducing a critical opportunity for the province to leverage the policy to generate even more emissions reductions,” she explains. And a “significant portion” of that money could go into active transportation and public transit.
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“Investing in activity that reduces transportation emissions—the largest source of greenhouse gases in Ontario—offers the best case for leveraging the cap and trade program to maximize emission reductions.”
Pickering said TAF and Evergreen CityWorks recently urged Premier Kathleen Wynne to link cap and trade revenues to measures to achieve the province’s 2020 and 2050 climate targets. They said cap and trade policy should fund low-carbon mobility and include a cap on transportation fuels.
“One critical component of our recommendations is that the cap should apply broadly throughout the economy, to send price signals to help shift corporations and citizens towards low-carbon choices,” Pickering writes. “The other aspect is using the revenues to further the carbon reduction impact of the policy by investing in low-carbon infrastructure.”