Canadian province Manitoba publishes its Climate and Green Plan
On Friday, Manitoba’s Government published its proposed Climate and Green Plan outlining its 2018-2022 strategy to fight climate change, including a contentious carbon pricing policy at $25 per tonne.
Premier Brian Pallister said: "Our vision is to make Manitoba the cleanest, greenest and most climate-resilient province in Canada”.
"We are charting that course with a comprehensive plan based on Manitoba needs and focused on Manitoba priorities”.
The plan has set out 4 main pillars as its integrated focus, i.e. Climate, Jobs, Water and Nature with each focal area comprising four principal tools of execution.
Source: Government of Minetoba
The plan includes measures such as the phase-out of Manitoba’s last coal-fired plant, the replacement of 100 diesel fuelled buses with electric ones and the retrofit of heavy-duty diesel trucks through a rebate program.
Agriculture would contribute to carbon sequestration efforts, and carbon offset trading systems would be established in Manitoba and other provinces.
The plan includes a carbon price of $25 per tonne, half the Federal Government’s target of $50 per tonne by 2022.
Premier Brian Pallister commented: "Our lower carbon price respects the massive hydro investments Manitobans have made over decades to build one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world”.
The decision has triggered reactions, as the Federal Government has demanded that they establish a carbon tax that would start at $10 per tonne, and rise to $50 a tonne by 2022.
Manitoba argues that the tax of $25 per tonne is fairer and will remain consistent, and believes that its 2018-2022 strategy “will achieve more than twice as many emissions reductions as the Federal carbon tax”.
Catherine McKenna, the Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change commented on the news through a post on Facebook.
“Manitoba took a big step forward on climate action today, and that’s good news for all of us”.
“But I also want to be very clear: we’ve laid out the price schedule we need to see, which reaches $50/tonne by 2022 – well beyond the $25/tonne carbon price Manitoba is proposing”.
“So when Manitoba moves forward with this proposal, they’ll be in good shape for the first year and the second year. After that, they’ll need to up their game”.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: “The Federal Government has laid out very clear benchmarks that I expect Provinces to meet”.
“We will evaluate to ensure every province meets both the stringency and efficacy of the shared approach on pricing carbon”.
Rochelle Squires, Pallister and Sustainable Development Minister said that cumulative emissions are expected to decrease by more than one megatonne over the next 5 years, which is 80,000 tonnes more the reduction that the Federal carbon tax scheme has projected.
The plan is still to be voted on in the legislature, but officials are confident that it will easily pass due to Pallister’s Government majority in the parliament.
You can read the full Climate and Green Plan here.