No room for provincial exceptionalism when it comes to cutting carbon pollution
Climate Action Network Canada’s Executive Director Catherine Abreu reacts to the Canadian government’s letter to provinces and territories on carbon pricing
December 20, 2017
As the OECD’s assessment of national environmental performance made clear yesterday, Canada needs all hands on deck if the country intends to fulfil its Paris promise and finally meet a climate target it has set. The Canadian government drove this point home with provinces and territories on the issue of carbon pricing today. In letters sent to all subnational governments, Environment and Climate Change Canada emphasized its expectation that provinces and territories will implement carbon pricing systems in 2018 and that those systems will drive emissions reductions deeper and faster than would have otherwise occurred. In other words, there is no room for politicking or provincial exceptionalism when it comes to cutting carbon pollution.
This means that provinces like Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, which have proposed inadequate systems that will fail to deliver incremental emissions reductions, will have until September 1st, 2018 to deliver updated plans or will have the federal benchmark imposed at $20 per ton on January 1st, 2019. Manitoba, which has proposed a system that will fail to keep pace with the benchmark’s annual $10 per ton increase, may have the benchmark imposed in 2020 at $30 per ton.
Government has also laid out a process for annual assessments of jurisdictions’ carbon pricing systems to ensure they comply with the federal benchmark in that year. This kind of regular monitoring and evaluation of climate policy, measured against stringent national standards, is encouraging and we hope to see it applied to other elements of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change and Clean Growth.
Even with a slight slip in the original timeline laid out in the Framework, today’s news is good news for the climate, and sets us on course to pan-Canadian carbon pricing that continues to rise year over year and gets Canada closer to its fair share of the global effort to confront climate change.
CONTACT: Catherine Abreu, Executive Director, CAN-Rac Canada | +1 902 412 8953 firstname.lastname@example.org
Canada’s primary network of organizations working on climate change and energy issues, CAN-Rac is a coalition of more than 100 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.
Photo: iPolitics/Matthew Usherwood