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Professor of Political Science, University of Toronto; board chair, Sustainability CoLab

A funny thing happened on the way to the climate summit

Turns out that a low-carbon economy is not only on the way, but already underway.

On April 13 in Québec City, the province of Ontario joined the ranks of Québec, California, and a swath of European nations, announcing their plans to implement a cap-and-trade system for pricing carbon and reducing the province’s greenhouse gas emissions. This comes as a welcome and critical step in the Province’s ongoing attempts to address climate change and foster a sustainable economy for Ontario. Of course, as expected, the announcement has been met with some criticism – from the political opposition and pundits alike, to the media and international community and more – and it will surely continue as we approach the looming federal election. There are lengths to go to map out the specifics of Ontario’s cap-and-trade system. We can expect rounds of intense debate, lobbying, and consultations in determining how the province will set up this system. This conversation is crucial and it must be focused on ensuring that the system is as efficient, equitable, transparent, predictable, & effective as possible.

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