‘The government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by its cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year.’

According to ipolitics.ca: TORONTO — More work is needed if Ontario wants to meet its long-term goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the province’s environmental commissioner said Tuesday.

In her annual report, the commissioner said the government needs a better plan for spending the funds brought in by its cap-and-trade system, which amounted to close to $2 billion last year.

The money is to be earmarked for green projects and almost all of the $1.37 billion spent as of last November met the established criteria, Dianne Saxe wrote.

What’s more, some government ministries need to make more of an effort to consider climate change in their decision-making and spending, Saxe said. The Ministry of Energy was named as a top offender, in part because Saxe deemed that its newly announced long-term energy plan is “incompatible” with the province’s climate change law.

But despite some hurdles in the system, she said switching to a carbon tax, as the Progressive Conservatives have vowed to do if they win the spring election, isn’t likely to deliver results faster.

“The research that we’ve seen suggests that changing policies delays progress,” she said.

“There isn’t any jurisdiction in the world that’s changed from cap and trade to a carbon tax. Most jurisdictions choose cap and trade because although it’s more expensive to implement for the economy as a whole you produce the same level of emissions for a lower cost.”

The cap-and-trade system, which was launched last year, aims to lower greenhouse gas emissions by putting caps on the amount of pollution companies in certain industries can emit.

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