LEAVE BEHIND: Our ask of the Ontario Government – March 2019

LEAVE BEHIND: Our ask of the Ontario Government – March 2019

Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s Request of the Ontario Government – March 2019

Our recommendation: We recommend that Ontario recognize the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by implementing a Carbon Fee and Dividend program.

Our appreciation: We appreciate that Ontario has an output based carbon pricing policy for large emitters.

The urgency: The October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC warned there are only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5ºC, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. The climate is fast approaching a state of crisis. As of March 21, 2019, a Climate Emergency has been declared in 323 Canadian communities including Hamilton and Kingston (covering over 8 million people).

The youth have risen: On Friday, November 2, 2018, a Canadian youth began #FridaysForFuture in solidarity with Greta Thunberg. On March 15, Greta Thunberg declared a global strike. Canadian youth heard her call and joined the strike in 75 cities. Canada’s national strike is Friday, May 3, 2019 and there is an international global Earth Strike for the climate on September 27.

The good news: With the right policies, Ontario would be poised to capture part of the 26 trillion dollars in climate smart growth by 2030 and help save the world $30 trillion dollars in climate damages by the end of the century.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby: Since 2010, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada has been advocating for Carbon Fee and Dividend: an incrementally rising price on carbon pollution where 100% of the fees collected are returned to citizens.

Support for Carbon Pricing:  Major oil companies, the Canadian Mining Association, and the Canadian Medical Association are among the many organizations that endorse carbon pricing. In the USA, 3508 economists have endorsed the Carbon Dividends model of pricing carbon including 27 Nobel Prize winners and economic advisors to both Republican and Democrat Presidents.

In Canada, Carbon Fee and Dividend is endorsed by Canadians for Clean Prosperity, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission and the Post Media Editorial board in September 2017.

Carbon Fee and Dividend is a policy which makes polluters pay. The polluter-pays method has worked for other pollutants. By using a market-based solution, government need not prescribe any given solution; this stimulates innovation. The dividends benefit low-income households who can least afford additional costs.

Carbon Fee and Dividend would work as follows:

  • A fee is placed on carbon-based fuels at the source (well, mine or port of entry).
  • The fee is increased at a pace that motivates the emissions reductions necessary to avoid catastrophic consequences.
  • 100% of the revenue is returned to low and middle-income households in Ontario to protect them from the increased energy costs associated with the carbon fee.
  • The predictably increasing carbon price sends a clear market signal which stimulates investment in the clean-energy economy.
  • Provincial subsidies to fossil fuel companies ($600 million/yr) are terminated.
  • To prevent offshoring of carbon emissions, Canada’s federation of provinces and territories work with the federal government to enact border carbon adjustments.

CCL is grateful for your service to Ontario.  We are here to help our province of Ontario at this time of massive change.

Download the pdf: Ontario Leave Behind March 2019 (pdf)