Ontario Environmental Commissioner endorses road tolls

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TORONTO, Ont. — Ontario’s Environmental Commissioner Gord Miller issued a report today that calls on the province to seriously consider road tolls to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The report, Annual Greenhouse Gas Progress Report 2010: Broadening Ontario’s Climate Change Policy Agenda, says raod pricing should be considered as a partial answer to reducing GHG emissions, considering the transportation sector is the single biggest contributor.

“Our report documents the significant environmental, social and economic benefits that many other jurisdictions across the globe have realized by putting a price on road use,” Miller said. “And, it’s not just about gridlock and congestion, serious though these problems may be. Transit funding must be found – through road tolls if necessary – to make the commuting decision to use transit that much easier.”

The report also supports a carbon cap-and-trade system.

“I support the government’s current initiatives involving a cap-and-trade system; it is one way to put a price on carbon. But we need to put the right price on carbon emissions to ensure that a clear and transparent price signal is conveyed to consumers,” said Miller. “Additionally, the government needs to keep all its policy options open, and have a transparent public dialogue to explore other possibilities (such as a carbon tax) in case a cap-and-trade system fails to materialize.”

The full report can be viewed here.

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