Donald Trump’s election in the United States won’t deter Canada’s federal government and its biggest oil-producing province from moving ahead with plans to institute carbon pricing, their leaders said in statements last week.
In the perception that a Trump administration will heavily favour that country’s fossil energy producers, the oil and gas Exploration and Producers Association of Canada wasted no time calling on Alberta to “hit the pause button” on its climate plan, which includes a lifetime cap on greenhouse gas emissions from its tar sands/oil sands and frack-based petroleum sectors as well as a carbon price, reports the JWNEnergy industry news site.
But Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made clear there was no change of heart in her government, which had never expected corresponding action on pricing carbon in the United States.
“There are strong, strong, compelling reasons for moving forward on our climate leadership plan, and the decisions of the voters south of the border are not things that should appropriately factor into that,” Notley said. “Our plan was designed and modelled on the basis of Alberta acting alone, with considerations built into the plan for our more trade-exposed industries, and I think that remains the case now.”
Even had Hillary Clinton been elected, it should be noted, the Democratic presidential candidate had ruled out pursuing a nation-wide carbon price in America. Canadians, however, see the wisdom in such a national price, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asserted.
“There is tremendous economic disadvantage from not acting in the fight against climate change,” Trudeau said, according to Canadian Press, when asked whether his proposed floor price on carbon would hurt Canada in the wake of Trump’s election. “We know that putting a price on carbon pollution is a way to improve our response to economic challenges, to create good, and to show leadership that quite frankly the entire world is looking for, along with the solutions that go with it.”
The Canadian plan will start pricing carbon at C$10 per tonne beginning in 2018, with the levy rising by $10 per year until it reaches $50 in 2022, applying only to provinces that do not introduce their own carbon pricing regimes.