Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Approach to Carbon Pricing Ambitious, Challenging, Says OECD

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Canada's Approach to Carbon Pricing Ambitious, Challenging, Says OECD

Article excerpt

Canada's carbon-price plan too complex: OECD


OTTAWA - Canada's decentralized approach to putting a price on pollution is overly complex and will be difficult to implement, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says in a new report.

The OECD, an international economic partnership of 35 free market economies, today released the third ever review of Canada's environmental policies and progress, in which it suggests Canada will likely feel pressure to eventually nationalize many parts of the carbon price system.

The report looks at everything from climate change action and adaptation to water pollution, air pollution, garbage dumps and protected lands and waterways since the last review in 2004.

It praises Canada for making some progress in the last decade and a half, such as reducing emissions from electricity generation.

However the report finds Canada lags behind other OECD nations in the amount of garbage that ends up in landfills and is the second-most carbon and energy-intensive economy within the OECD.

For every US$1,000 in GDP created in Canada, this country uses 62 per cent more energy and produces 44 per cent more carbon emissions than the OECD average.

This is largely because of Canada's resource-heavy economy. However the report also notes Canada's use of resources and energy is high even when compared to other resource-heavy economies.

The OECD report calls the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change a "well thought-out strategy" and the national carbon price included within it is critical to Canada's ability to cut its emissions enough to meet its international obligations.

However the OECD has concerns with allowing every province to decide how to implement a minimum price on carbon emissions, which is to start at $10 a tonne in 2018 and rise to $50 a tonne by 2022.

"Practical implementation will, however, be a huge challenge," the report says of the system.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in October 2016 every province would have to have a minimum price on carbon by 2018, but each is being allowed to implement their own system as long as it meets federal benchmarks. …

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