Canada can lead on climate change
Julie Gelfand, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, bluntly outlined that the government has failed to implement successive greenhouse gas emissions-reduction plans. Her assessment covers the 2010-2017 time period.
An important component of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change is the carbon pricing legislation. Currently, 86 per cent of Canada’s population is already covered by a carbon price and by 2018 that number will rise to 100 per cent. Canada’s national carbon pricing policy will be revenue neutral for the national government. All revenues generated will remain in that province or territory.
I applaud the Canadian government for its national price on carbon. This is an important step to help Canada in its transition to a clean energy economy. However, the federal government has committed to increasing the fee for only five years, yet the target year is 2030.
A five-year commitment is not enough to meet Canada’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
Our organization, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, calls on the Canadian government to extend the rising fee to year 2030. This will bend the curve.
From October 21-24, 2017, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada members will be in Ottawa lobbying their MPs. We will present five simple steps to improve Canada’s carbon pricing policy.
1. That the carbon price is economy-wide and is applied upstream: At the wellhead, coal mine or point of entry into the economy.
2. That the national carbon price continues to rise past 2022 with the objective of Canada exceeding our Paris targets and becoming a world leader in tackling the climate crisis and in the clean tech industry.
3. That border tax adjustments are included in the policy to level the playing field for domestic industries with international jurisdictions without a similar carbon price.
4. That the federal government work with the provinces and territories to ensure provincial carbon pricing systems can keep up with the rising federal minimum carbon price without imposing any additional burdens on low and middle-income Canadians. For example, the federal government could propose carbon fee and dividend as a model policy.
5. To ensure that there is a consistent policy towards combating climate change, that the federal government, as promised in the 2015 Liberal election platform, end financial subsidies to fossil fuel companies.
Extending the rising carbon fee to 2030, providing comprehensive coverage, and imposing border tax adjustments will help ensure a strong, diverse and competitive economy inspiring other countries to take Canada’s lead.
Cathy Orlando National Director Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada Sudbury