Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with provincial premiers in Vancouver last week to try to secure a national price on carbon to help fight climate change. By the end of the meetings, the prime minister and premiers had agreed to a climate plan framework that includes an agreement in principle for a carbon-pricing mechanism, although it lacked specifics on how the pan-Canadian system would work.
The BC Chamber reacted with strong support
for a national carbon-pricing mechanism to replace the current patchwork of disparate provincial approaches.
Prime Minister Trudeau maintains that a price on carbon is an essential tool to fight climate change and the premiers and federal government would continue to meet to try and achieve that goal, taking into account the provinces’ unique needs.
“The working group that we have put together will dig into the mechanisms that will be most effective, and most appropriate, for each jurisdiction, recognizing that there are areas that face greater challenges,” the prime minister said.
A key outcome of this week’s meeting is agreement among provincial leaders to break off into working groups to examine four main areas of climate change: clean technology, innovation and jobs, carbon pricing and mitigation. The working groups will report back in October, and the hope is that those reports will be used to create a first ever “Canadian framework for clean growth and climate change.”
In the meantime, the federal government says it will take action (likely in this month’s budget) on a number of areas that will advance provincial efforts that will support the fight against climate change. That includes likely investments in public transit and energy efficient infrastructure; measures to increase electric vehicle uptake; regional plans for clean electricity; eliminating dependence on diesel in remote indigenous communities; and doubling investments in clean energy, research and development over a five-year period.