Canada sets minimum carbon price to be met by 2018

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 03, 2016 2:15 PM

TORONTO/OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada will have a minimum price on carbon emissions by 2018, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday, with provinces given the option between implementing a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market by then.

Under the national plan, which was quickly rejected by the oil-rich province of Alberta, carbon pollution will cost C$10 a tonne in 2018, rising C$10 a year until it reaches C$50 a tonne in 2022, when the approach will be reviewed.

"We're not going to shun science and we're not going to put off the inevitable," Trudeau told parliament.

"The government will set a floor price for carbon pollution, Trudeau said. "The price will be set at a level that will assist Canada in achieving its goal for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, while allowing companies better stability and predictability."

Trudeau said revenues collected in each province will remain in that jurisdiction. He added that separate provincial efforts must be at least as tough as the national scheme.

Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada's four most populous provinces, either already have a price on carbon or are in the process of implementing one.

But Alberta said its support for the plan would be linked to federal support for pending pipeline projects that have yet to be approved.

"Alberta will not be supporting this proposal absent serious concurrent progress on energy infrastructure, to ensure we have the economic means to fund these policies," Premier Rachel Notley said in a statement.

Trudeau laid out the plans as federal legislators prepared to vote this week on ratification of the Paris climate agreement, a vote his majority Liberal government is certain to win.

Under the previous Conservative government, Canada committed to reducing 2030 carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels. The Liberals have kept those targets.

The landmark 2015 Paris Agreement on how to deal with climate change is set to win enough ratifications by signatory nations this week to go into force in November.

(Reporting by Alastair Sharp in Toronto and Andrea Hopkins in Ottawa; Editing by David Gregorio)