12 December 2016

Canada sets first national carbon price

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced the country’s first carbon tax at C$10 a tonne.

The pricing will be introduced from 2018 and will rise by C$10 dollars every year to reach C$50 in 2022.

Under the agreement, the provinces can either implement a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market.

Ontario and Quebec, the country’s most populous provinces, are installing a cap-and-trade system, and British Columbia already has a carbon tax.

The deal, struck on Friday last week, was agreed by eight of the country’s ten provinces, but the energy-producing province of Saskatchewan and Manitoba did not sign.

However, Trudeau has promised to impose a carbon price on any province that refuses to agree.

In November, Canada announced it would phase out the use of coal-fired electricity by 2030.

Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Environment Minister, said: “Taking traditional coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of Canadians, and benefit generations for years to come.”

Carbon pricing will enable the development of a cleaner economy, and encourage businesses to develop innovative ways of reducing emissions as well as create new clean technology jobs, according to the Prime Minister.

Trudeau told the Commons:  “There is no hiding from climate change... It is real and it is everywhere. We cannot undo the last 10 years of inaction. What we can do is make a real and honest effort – today and every day – to protect the health of our environment, and with it, the health of all Canadians.”

He added: “85% of the Canadian economy is located in provinces where there is pricing on carbon pollution in one shape or another. We are going to bring that up to 100%.”

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