By sticking to its original plan to increase its floor price on carbon from C$20 to $30 per tonne April 1, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the federal government is sending a “positive signal to investors” and delivering the certainty needed to build a more resilient economy, the Pembina Institute said in a release yesterday.
“By staying the course on its climate agenda as we navigate the crisis caused by COVID-19, Canada is offering much-needed certainty for investors and long-term incentives and flexibility for industry and consumers to move toward low-carbon options,” said Federal Policy Director Isabelle Turcotte. “That investment certainty and incentivization of low-carbon options is essential to the future resilience of the Canadian economy as the world strives to decarbonize to limit warming to 1.5°C.”
On a web page last updated March 31, the Canada Revenue Agency confirms the $30-per-tonne charge, then translates it into per-litre or per-tonne costs for a long list of fuels purchased in Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta—the four provinces that do not currently charge their own minimum carbon taxes under the pan-Canadian climate plan. Charges for the next year include 4.64¢ per litre for propane, 5.87¢ per cubic metre for natural gas, 6.63¢ per litre of gasoline, 8.05¢ per litre for light fuel oil, and $67.55 per tonne for high-heat-value coal.
“We need to ensure the choices we make in one global crisis don’t exacerbate another,” and “a price on pollution is the cheapest way to reduce harmful air pollution and carbon emissions,” Turcotte said. “Decisions made today will impact our well-being for decades to come, define our competitiveness in a decarbonizing global market, and insulate our workers against future disruption. Maintaining a strong carbon price helps achieve this—and the design of the federal program protects families by putting more money in their pockets by returning revenues via income tax returns, while effectively lowering carbon emissions.”