Canada’s Atlantic provinces are considering introducing a regional carbon price, according to Prince Edward Island’s environment minister.
Robert Mitchell said he and his counterparts from the other three eastern provinces, following a federal-provincial meeting of environment ministers last month, have begun preliminary talks about a joint strategy to fight climate change that could include putting a price on GHG emissions, PEI’s Guardian newspaper reported Saturday.
“We had a great discussion on it, certainly nothing nailed down. But we had some open and frank discussion on that at a side table on a couple of different occasions,” Mitchell said, according to the paper.
“It was a pretty broad range discussion, but if in fact we did do some sort of price on carbon, what would you do with that? How could you spin that back in to make a big difference? If you put a price on, I’ll say, oil or oil products, when you take that margin of what the price is, how do we effectively spin that back through to our buildings or our vehicles to make them more (efficient) …. We’re small, how do we make a difference? And that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Mitchell did not elaborate further as to whether a tax- or market-based approach was specifically discussed.
The four Atlantic provinces – PEI, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick – and Saskatchewan are Canada’s only provinces to have not yet implemented or announced a plan to introduce measures to price carbon.
New Brunswick and Nova Scotia have previously said they are mulling introducing taxes, while Newfoundland and Labrador’s environment minister last week said the province plans to target industrial emitters with a similar measure.
Quebec has a provincial carbon market linked to California’s, and Ontario and Manitoba are planning their own schemes to connect to the system. British Columbia has a carbon tax, and Alberta is introducing an expanded hybrid system.
Canada’s new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will likely take a similar approach to his US counterpart, setting an overarching national target and leaving it up to the provinces and territories as to how they meet their individual goals.
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org