MRO Magazine

Engineers’ recommendations for Ontario’s cap-and-trade program

The Ontario government recently announced its intention to create a cap-and-trade program and link its auctions with Quebec and California in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).


September 28, 2015
By PEM Magazine

The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) has released a report on the subject, stating that it “believes that a cap-and-trade system, if well-designed and transparent, has the potential to not only drive meaningful climate action, but also accelerate low-carbon investment and innovation that can help transform Ontario’s economy and create new employment opportunities, especially for engineers.”

OSPE’s Recommendations

  • OSPE’s report, entitled Engineering a Cleaner Economy: Examining Ontario’s Carbon Pricing Program and the Role of Innovation, provides the following recommendations to government:
  • Decarbonization to the extent proposed by the Ontario government (reduce emissions by 15% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37% by 2030, and 80% by 2050) will require a huge amount of technological innovation and a coordinated, enduring approach to technology policies and research and innovation
  • Engineers must be involved in the design and maintenance of this technology
  • Cap-and-trade must be implemented in a way that does not cause economic hardship for energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries (EITEs)
  • Ontario must follow the lead of other jurisdictions and take proactive measures to mitigate the financial impacts felt by individual households
  • Revenue from the program must be re-invested in sustainable infrastructure and research and development of green technologies
  • Early estimates suggest that Ontario could generate between $1.5 billion and $2 billion annually from cap-and-trade auction revenues by 2020
  • Research and development grants and policies should recognize and support individuals and small companies for pilot projects and new inventions in addition to support for well-established firms

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