Provincial and territorial governments would pursue their own approaches to meet national greenhouse gas reduction targets under a plan unveiled last week by Liberal leader Justin Trudeau.
“Trudeau said he would work with premiers to establish a standard for carbon reduction and would provide federal funding to help provinces achieve targets,” iPolitics reported Friday. “And he promised he’d do it all within a few months if he wins the federal election scheduled for mid-October.”
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Trudeau has taken fire for declining to put forward a consistent, national approach to carbon pricing. But in a speech in Calgary, he advocated a more flexible approach.
“We have 85% of Canadians now represented in provinces that now have a price on carbon,” he told reporters. “The federal government can draw together that leadership—and will—if we have a federal government that believes in climate change.”
The Calgary-based Pembina Institute supported a federal role in pricing carbon and funding provinces’ efforts to meet “aggressive climate targets.” But “leaving it to the provinces to devise their own plans could be problematic,” said Executive Director Ed Whittingham. “It would be simpler for the federal government to set a national price on carbon, using a system such as cap-and-trade or a national carbon tax.”
While he was in Calgary, Trudeau blamed Prime Minister Stephen Harper for missing the opportunity to secure U.S. cooperation on the Keystone XL pipeline, according to the Toronto Sun. “Trudeau says Harper resisted overtures from U.S President Barack Obama to show he was ‘serious about climate change’ and to ‘build Canada’s relationship with our closest ally and trading partner which made building pipelines nigh on impossible.’” Climate hawks responded online, questioning how Trudeau can simultaneously support Keystone and advocate deep greenhouse gas reductions.
“The Liberals have high hopes of taking the riding of Calgary Centre from the Conservatives,” the Sun reports.
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