As of today, Carbon pricing is once again in effect in the province of Ontario.
The Ottawa Board of Trade (OBoT) supports equitable policies that minimize regulatory burden on businesses. The OBoT also supports aggressive action to mitigate the city of Ottawa’s contribution to global climate change. For these reasons, the OBoT supports the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s (CCC) position on the Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop. Specifically:
- We join the CCC in advocating for a “stable, predictable, and straightforward” regulatory regime that features carbon pricing as the primary measure to transition to a low carbon economy.
- We support the CCC’s call for policies and programs to minimize the economic impacts of carbon pricing for business and households, with a specific priority on supporting SMEs through the transition.
- Like the CCC, we recognize the huge opportunity that transitioning to a low carbon economy represents for Canadian business.
In general, Canadians support these positions. Abacus Data recently found that more than 3/4 of Canadians had a “very good”, “good” or “acceptable” reaction to carbon pricing, with Ontario among the most supportive regions in the country.
Even without a price on carbon that reflects its cost to Canadians, Ottawa-based businesses are deriving millions in annual revenue through carbon reduction activities and inject millions more into the local economy as a result. For example:
- Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative (OREC) has raised more than $8 Million from individual Ottawa investors to finance and implemented several green energy projects. This has already led to $660,000 in returns to Ottawa investors and $2.5 Million paid to local labour. OREC’s new affiliate CoEnergy has initiated an additional $2.5 Million in energy efficiency projects in the city since its inception in December 2018.
- Hydro Ottawa derived more than 1/5th of its revenue from low carbon electricity generation, conservation activities and low carbon services in 2017, helping it to return a dividend of more than $20 Million to the City of Ottawa.
The transition to a low-carbon economy is essential. A price on carbon is the most effective market-based method of equitably enabling this transition, and provides business with a stable, predictable, and straightforward regime. Those businesses who embrace this transition now stand to reap immediate cost-savings, while positioning themselves to better compete in the low carbon economy of the future. For this reason, the Ottawa Board of Trade supports putting a price on carbon.
From The Environment & Sustainability Committee