Ottawa, ON – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated the obvious today in the House of Commons – the Canadian government cannot continue to allow polluters to use the atmosphere as a free dumping ground. Trudeau’s planned pan-Canadian price on carbon emissions is welcome, but the planned price starts too low and takes too long to take a bite out of Canada’s emissions.
To be effective, the federal carbon price needs to rise at the same rate beyond 2022. Polluters, not Canadians, must pay the costs of carbon emissions. Those costs will be paid one way or another, either through a price on carbon or through health impacts from air pollution and the impacts of more severe floods, droughts, and forest fires.
But the federal government needs to do much more than carbon pricing to reduce emissions and fulfill Canada’s Paris commitment to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Prime Minister and his Minister of Environment and Climate Change need to implement smart regulations to close down coal-fired power plants and cut methane emissions in half. Federal action is also needed to ensure that Canadians who want to buy an electric vehicle will find one at their local dealership. The revenue from pricing carbon must be invested in further reducing emissions.
The government also needs to stop approving high-carbon energy projects, which are completely at odds with climate leadership. Instead, the government needs a strategy to electrify buildings and vehicles, and harness clean energy development that will power them. This will create greater economic benefits for Canada than dirty energy projects that must become a part of the past.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Tim Ehlich, Environmental Defence, 647-468-3641 (cell);