At least two provincial premiers are calling on the Canadian government to hold off on tougher carbon reduction targets until there’s a clear path to meeting the Harper government’s promise of a 30% cut by 2030.
“At this point, we have to be realistic, and we have to recognize that we’re not on track to meet the targets that are in place,” Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne told The House “We’d better figure that out, and then we can talk about how we can do more, even more than that.”
“Here in British Columbia, with the highest and broadest and most transparent—and only revenue-neutral—carbon tax in North America, we’re still not meeting our targets today,” added Premier Christy Clark. “I think we should try and contain our enthusiasm for reaching ever further before we even know how we’re going to get to what we’ve already said.”
On the same edition of The House, Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna repeated her past assertion that the Harper target is the new federal government’s starting point, not its final destination.
“We know there are a lot of emissions coming from transportation — how do we reduce emissions there? Buildings, how do we make those more energy efficient? So, we’re going to go through that exercise and then we will know where we can be with our target, which I’ve said is a floor … not a ceiling,” she told moderator Chris Hall.
Last month, the government confirmed that Canada was on track to miss its carbon reduction targets for 2020 and 2030, though the calculation missed many of the provincial initiatives announced just before the UN climate summit in Paris.
In Alberta, meanwhile, CBC reports that the province has ordered the non-profit Alberta Electric System Operator to introduce incentives for more solar, wind, hydro, and bioenergy development. “We are pleased to help support the government’s climate leadership plan by developing and implementing an incentive program to bring more renewables onto the grid,” said AESO Vice-President Mike Law.
The province aims to increase renewables from 17 to 30% of grid electricity by 2030, while phasing out coal-fired generation.