Canada agrees to first national carbon price: PM Trudeau

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 09, 2016 4:20 PM

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The government on Friday agreed a deal with eight of Canada's 10 provinces to introduce its first national carbon price, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters.

Trudeau has said the move will help Canada meet its international climate change obligations.

The agreement was struck only after heated talks. The energy-producing province of Saskatchewan did not sign up, saying the cost would be too great. Manitoba also declined to sign but officials said it might do so later.

Trudeau is promising to impose a carbon price on any province that refuses to sign on.

Under his plan, carbon pollution would cost C$10 ($7.60) a tonne in 2018, rising by C$10 a year until it reaches C$50 in 2022. The provinces can either implement a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade market.

Trudeau is broadly aligned politically with President Barack Obama, who has pushed hard to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden told the meeting he doubted President-elect Donald Trump could undo much of the administration's policies since many of them had taken firm hold.

Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall said the carbon price would make Canadian firms less competitive at a time when Trump looks set to adopt policies cutting energy costs.

(Reporting by David Ljunggren, editing by G Crosse and Grant McCool)