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Ontario Society of Professional Engineers support cap-and-trade program

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Ontario’s proposed cap-and-trade program has the potential to reduce emissions while accelerating low-carbon investment, innovation and job creation in the province, says a report released by the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers.

The report, entitled Engineering a Cleaner Economy: Examining Ontario’s Carbon Pricing Program and the Role of Innovation, contains a number of recommendations that the OSPE argues are necessary for the program to be effective and for it to have a net positive impact on Ontario’s economy and innovation.

According to Sandro Perruzza, the CEO of OSPE, professional engineers are “well positioned to provide input” for the cap-and-trade program as they make decisions “based on the numbers,” reducing the tendency for bias.

As engineers will be deeply involved in the design and maintenance of carbon-reducing technologies and of low-carbon innovations, they should be part of the consultation process, said Perruzza.

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The report’s other recommendations to the government include:

  1. 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.
  2. Cap-and-trade must be implemented in a way that does not cause economic hardship for energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries (EITEs).
  3. Ontario must follow the lead of other jurisdictions and take proactive measures to mitigate the financial impacts felt by individual households.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

The importance of transparency is emphasized throughout the report as essential to the program’s success and the transition to low-carbon industries and processes.

The long-term return-on-investment periods for investing in energy/carbon reduction technologies and practices means businesses must be certain of regulations and confident that they will not change, explained Perruzza.

Click here to read the full report.



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