The aim of this report is to explore how environmental markets can be employed as a way to maintain and improve environmental quality and limit pollution as Southern Ontario’s population and economy grow. By creating an explicit value where none currently exists, they can help incentivize Southern Ontario’s businesses, farmers and other landowners, and citizens to protect Ontario’s air, water, and biodiversity.
This report first defines environmental markets; it then explores their use in Ontario by considering them in three environmental areas: air and carbon, water, and biodiversity. Further details on each market are available in the Appendix. It is important to note, however, that not all environmental markets fit under a single area. Some of the identified markets place a value on goods and services that provide benefits in more than one environmental area and it is therefore appropriate to classify these under a distinct fourth area entitled multiple ecosystem services. To avoid repetition, this report does not analyse multiple ecosystem services markets under a separate section. However, these markets are listed separately in the environmental markets table on page 9 and on the Methods Appendix.
Each section in the report includes a Focus Area where a particular type of environmental market is explored more closely. The Focus Area provides an in-depth analysis of the type of market, describing how it works, and discussing its effectiveness and limitations. The focus areas were chosen for their potential to offer important lessons learned and/or their potential to be used more often. Other specific environmental markets of particular interest are detailed in Featured Market sub-sections. Each section concludes with a Going Forward segment that outlines recommended steps to increase the use of these environmental markets.