Ottawa, ON – We are glad to see progress on the federal government’s commitment to putting a pan-Canadian price on carbon. However, important details still need to be worked out. There remains a risk that the polluter pays principle will be watered down, meaning some industries won’t do their fair share to reduce carbon emissions and cheap climate solutions will be left behind.
Carbon pricing alone is not a panacea; but, along with smart regulations and investments, it is a critical component of any credible plan to fight climate change. And it is important to get the pricing mechanism right.
The carbon price needs to consistently increase over a long period of time to achieve meaningful carbon emission reductions. And while impacts to industry competitiveness do need to be addressed, overcompensating for these impacts can dampen the pricing signal the policy is intended to send.
According to the Ecofiscal Commission, only a very small percentage of the Canadian economy – just 5 per cent – face competitiveness issues from pricing carbon. Any measures to address industry’s competitiveness therefore need to be “targeted, transparent, and temporary.”
While it’s important to provide assistance to low-income households who are disproportionately impacted by carbon pricing, the majority of revenue from carbon pricing should be used to invest in further reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a clean economy in Canada. Polling shows that this is the most effective use of carbon pricing dollars, and the approach that finds the most support among Canadians.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.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: Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext 247; 416-356-2587 (cell); firstname.lastname@example.org