Ontario considers joining U.S. partnerships for GHG reduction
TORONTO, ONT-the Ontario government has indicated its interest in potentially joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and the Western Regional Climate Action Initiative, two state-level partnerships whose mandates are to reduce greenhouse gases. "Building partnerships with our U.S. neighbours to address our shared climate change and air pollution issues is in the best interest of Ontarians," Premier Dalton McGuinty said. RGGI is a cap-and-trade strategy to reduce greenhouse gases through co-operative efforts across state lines-and now potentially across provincial borders. The Western Regional Climate Action Initiative is a joint strategy signed February 26, 2007 by Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington to build on existing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction efforts across all sectors and show leadership in the absence of meaningful federal action. Ontario's commitment to phasing out coal-fired power plants is compatible with RGGI's focus on GHG emissions from the electricity sector. Ontario has indicated its support for the absolute emission targets that define both the Western Initiative and RGGI. As a jurisdiction with an emissions trading program in place for NOX and SO2, the province believes co-operation between Ontario and RGGI and the Western Initiative could lead to technical improvements in both programs and a possible future cross-border program for all emissions.