January 16, 2018
(OTTAWA) — The Liberal government is weakening the national carbon pricing system to give breaks to Canada’s major greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters.
“Reducing the responsibility of the biggest polluters is simply irresponsible,” said Elizabeth May. “The Pan-Canadian Framework, negotiated by the federal government with the provinces and territories, is already weak. It is not clear how it can even achieve the Harper target, now endorsed by the Liberals, which itself is too weak to achieve what we pledged in Paris. The federal government cannot afford to lose a single ton of emission reductions.
“The most recent Environment Canada data show that nearly 40 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions came from just 563 individual operations, mainly power plants, refineries and cement plants. They should be contributing their fair share towards meeting our commitments to slash GHG and avoid going above 1.5 degrees C global average temperature, as promised in Paris. Instead, those big polluters located in provinces that have refused to create their own carbon tax will have a special rate based on a complex pricing mechanism using energy intensity and an average of industry emissions,” said Ms. May.
“With hundreds of millions of dollars a year in federal subsidies still going to the fossil fuel industry — which successive Canadian governments have promised to phase out since 2009 — the Trudeau government is already breaking its promise to Canadians,” added Green Party climate critic and meteorologist Richard Zurawski. “The new proposal to give carbon tax breaks to the largest polluters is yet another squandered opportunity to show real leadership in the fight against climate change.”