Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Climate Politics Looking Sunny

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Editorial Exchange: Climate Politics Looking Sunny

Article excerpt

Editorial Exchange: Climate politics looking sunny

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An editorial from the Winnipeg Free Press, published Nov. 24:

The election of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberals seems to have ended the drought and ushered in an era of abundance in terms of willingness to tackle climate change.

It's not that the provinces weren't talking about the problem before. Ontario, B.C. and Quebec were moving ahead with strategies to reduce carbon emissions, while others, including Manitoba, were dilly-dallying with minor initiatives.

Today, however, the premiers are falling over themselves with promises to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley showed the sky won't fall if the oil industry and the economy in general are forced to lower their emissions through carbon taxes and cap-and-trade regulations.

Oil executives even lined up behind her, saying the new environmental regime will position Alberta as a climate leader. Of course, it will also make it easier to sell that dirty oil once the price rebounds.

Ontario also announced a wide range of new measures Tuesday, promising to reduce emissions by 80 per cent over 1990 levels by 2050. In addition to a cap-and-trade system, the province will get more electric cars on the roads and change building codes to create more environmentally friendly buildings.

Premier Greg Selinger was more political, saying he won't release Manitoba's strategy until Dec. 3, the last day the legislature sits this year. He will then head to Paris with the other premiers for a climate conference in Paris.

Mr. Selinger did say the province would embrace a cap-and-trade system for major emitters, among other initiatives. He is opposed to a provincewide carbon tax.

It may be premature to judge his plans, but it will be interesting to see what has changed since 2010, when public consultations recommended against such a program because the province has only four large emitters. …

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