Ontario inches closer to cap and trade plan

Tue Dec 1, 2009 5:39pm EST
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TORONTO (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Ontario took steps toward a cap and trade program on Tuesday that will allow the country's manufacturing heartland to cut industrial emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Starting in 2010, Ontario said industrial facilities that release 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gases will have to report their emission data to the government and public.

The province said about 200 to 300 facilities will be affected by the rule. They will start reporting their 2010 emissions in 2011.

"Cap and trade is an essential tool in helping Ontario and other jurisdictions combat climate change," the provincial government said in a statement. "It uses market forces to help industry lower GHGs, while stimulating technological innovation and job creation."

The province's climate change plan calls for it to reduce greenhouse gases by 6 percent from 1990 levels by 2014, and by 15 percent by 2020.

A cap and trade plan sets corporate limits on emissions. A company that produces more carbon than the cap allows would be able to buy offseting credits from companies that emit less.

(Reporting by Frank Pingue; editing by Rob Wilson)