Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta to Talk about 'Consistent' Carbon Price at Climate Change Conference

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta to Talk about 'Consistent' Carbon Price at Climate Change Conference

Article excerpt

Alberta wants 'consistent' carbon emissions price


EDMONTON - Alberta's environment minister says the province plans to use the upcoming climate change conference in Peru to discuss a uniform price for carbon across Canada and the rest of the continent.

"We would like to work with the rest of Canada -- and by extension the rest of North America -- on trying to establish the consistent, fair price on carbon," Kyle Fawcett told The Canadian Press in an interview before he headed to Lima for the UN-sponsored conference.

"I know that's not going to be an easy thing, but it's something we want to be leaders in, and that will take engaging some of the other jurisdictions in this country to begin with."

Fawcett said any agreement would have to be applied equally across borders and across economies, despite the inevitable attempts to include exemptions and special breaks for favoured industries.

Fawcett acknowledged that would put pressure on Alberta's current carbon tax, which applies only to major emitters and only on greenhouse gas emissions above a government-mandated level. Most carbon tax models, such as British Columbia's, apply much more broadly.

As well, Alberta's $15-dollar-a-tonne price is considered too low to achieve actual reductions in emissions. Fawcett said the government understands that to get a consistent price across jurisdictions, it may have to be higher.

"We're well aware of that and that's part of ongoing discussions," he said.

"There hasn't been any decisions (about a higher price). I'm not willing to comment on whether there will be increased costs or no increased costs until we've made those final decisions."

Some of those decisions will be reflected in the province's new environment strategy, which Fawcett said should be released before the end of the year. …

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