The federal floor price on carbon could eliminate up to 90 megatonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022, depending on the specific carbon pricing schemes different provinces and territories put in place, according to a new analysis released yesterday by Environment and Climate Change Canada.
“BREAKING NEWS: Report shows everyone is already pricing #carbon & carbon pricing will cut pollution in Canada,” tweeted Climate Action Network-Canada Executive Director Catherine Abreu. “Sky does not fall. Canadians remain employed.”
The 90-Mt saving “is like taking every car off the road in Canada or closing 20 to 23 coal plants in a year,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna. “Our analysis confirms that carbon pricing works, that it significantly reduces pollution.”
The 13-page analysis says Canada’s GDP will grow about 1.8% per year through 2022, with or without carbon pricing. The floor price, which begins this year at C$10 per tonne and increases to $50 by 2022, will cost the country’s economy about $2 billion, or 0.1%—before factoring in “the prospect of additional growth that could result from clean technology investments spurred on by a higher price on carbon,” The Canadian Press notes.
But “even with carbon pricing and other measures, including eliminating coal-fired power plants, cutting methane emissions from the oil industry, and making cleaner fuels, Canada will still be 90 million tonnes shy of its international emissions targets set in 2015 under the Paris agreement,” The news agency states.
A federal government release says carbon pricing is “key to any credible climate plan because it’s a cost-effective way to significantly reduce pollution while driving clean innovation and creating new jobs. A price on carbon works because it creates a powerful incentive to cut pollution, encouraging people and businesses to save money by making cleaner choices like better insulating their homes or upgrading to more efficient equipment.”
The department adds that “Canadians know polluting isn’t free. Severe weather due to climate change is already costing Canadians billions of dollars a year in insurance costs. Across the country, Canadians have experienced first-hand devastating wildfires, extreme flooding, severe droughts, and stronger storms.”