Canada’s federal government launched a nationwide carbon pollution pricing plan proposal yesterday, October 3. Setting a benchmark for pricing carbon emissions will increase certainty for Canadian businesses, create jobs, protect the environment and facilitate achieving national and international emissions reductions targets, Canada’s Dept. of Environment and Climate Change explained in a press release.
Voters ended nearly 10 years of Conservative Party rule by lifting Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and the Liberal Party into office in a surprisingly large victory last October. Promises to reverse course from the preceding administration and implement policies that would make Canada a world leader when it comes to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions were seen as keys to their victory.
“Pricing pollution is one of the most efficient ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to stimulate innovation,” Minister of Environment and Climate Change Catherine McKenna stated. ¨Already 80 percent of Canadians live in a province where there is pollution pricing. We want to continue this trend and cover the final 20 percent.¨
A Pan-Canadian framework for pricing carbon pollution
The Trudeau administration aims to have all 10 Canadian provinces institute carbon pollution pricing plans by 2018. The pan-Canadian carbon pollution pricing plan provides a benchmark and framework that leaves it up to provincial governments to determine exactly what policy instruments are used to achieve the overarching goals. That might include imposing direct charges on carbon emissions or instituting an emissions cap-and-trade system.
Highlights of the proposed Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change:
Economy and Environment
A healthy economy and healthy environment go hand in hand, according to the federal government. Putting a price on carbon emissions will stimulate creation of middle-class jobs and strengthen Canada’s position by fostering business investment, innovation, and growth, the Trudeau administration touts.
“I have heard from Canadians from across our country, and their message is clear: climate change is one of the defining issues of this century and they expect their governments to lead the way and take action,” McKenna said. “To make sure the next 50 years are better than the last 50 years, we need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and transition to a low-carbon economy that works for everyone—especially the middle class and those working hard to join it.
“We are standing at the threshold of an incredible opportunity to build a strong and clean economy, one that will protect our environment and create opportunities for middle-class families today and in the generations to come.”
*Image credits: Canada Dept. of Environment & Climate Change
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