California governor says scrapping cap and trade would be foolish

 

The governor of California is wading into an Ontario election issue, saying a Progressive Conservative plan to scrap the province’s cap-and-trade system would be foolish.

Gov. Jerry Brown was asked about the controversial Tory proposal after meeting with Liberal Premier Kathleen Wynne to discuss the next steps to fight climate change.

Ontario recently linked with California and Quebec to hold joint cap-and-trade auctions after running its own system for a year.

The Tories initially promised to replace cap and trade with a carbon tax, since federal rules require provinces to adopt one of the two systems.

But the party’s new leader, Doug Ford, has vowed to eliminate carbon pricing altogether and suggested he would fight Ottawa in court if necessary.

With the province headed to the polls in June, both Wynne and Brown raised the alarm Monday about what they called a step backwards in tackling global warming.

Rolling back carbon pricing only delays progress and increases costs down the line, Brown said when asked about the Tory plan.

The governor referenced U.S. President Donald Trump, whose administration has clashed with California on car emission standards and other measures related to air pollution.

“Trump is already pilot testing this kind of manoeuvre and so far it’s more litigation than action,” he said. “The scientists are clear (on climate change), the world is clear through the Paris agreement … so that’s where the world is headed.”

Brown added that carbon pricing is an area where some politicians “can make a lot of noise” and urged voters to scrutinize campaign promises.

“Sometimes they’ll win a few votes, but there’s also a lot of buyer’s remorse here,” he said. “Certainly you can see that in the United States now. People didn’t know what they were getting. So people should really look and see.”

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