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Ontario to join cap-and-trade system

The Canadian province of Ontario is joining a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade system with neighboring Quebec and California.

Kathleen Wynne, premier of Canada’s most populous province, announced the plans Monday morning before traveling to a climate change summit in Quebec, the Globe and Mail reported.

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“What Ontario and Quebec do together matters to the country and to the continent,” Wynne said.

Officials in Ontario and Quebec have been frustrated by what they see as a lack of action on climate change by Canada’s federal government, leading to the cap-and-trade system.

The system will now affect an area with 61 million people and 60 percent of Canada’s population, the Globe and Mail said.

The cap-and-trade initiative would put a limit on carbon emissions within its jurisdiction and require companies that wish to emit carbon dioxide to buy permits from the government or from other companies.

Wynne’s announcement made no mention of much money the carbon market would raise, but her government told journalists that the money would be reinvested “in a transparent way back into projects that reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help businesses remain competitive.”

The Globe and Mail reported earlier in April that the market could raise C$1 billion to C$2 billion for the government.

Ontario officials said the market would add about 2.6 cents to the price of a liter of gasoline, which currently costs about C$1.03 per liter in Ontario.