Canada will announce its INDC in May, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said on Thursday, adding that its targets will have “similar levels of ambition to other major industrialised countries” but won’t match those of the US, its neighbour and main trading partner.
“It’s unlikely our targets will be exactly the same as the United States,” said Harper, as reported by several media outlets.
The US announced its INDC last month, pledging to cut emissions 26-28% by 2025.
Harper has always asserted that Canada should be in lockstep with the US on climate change issues, matching Canada’s 2020 emissions reduction target to the that of its southern neighbour at 17% below 2005 levels.
But while the US is broadly on track to hit its goal, Canada’s emissions are around 3% below 2005 levels.
NEW POLICIES, NO CO2 PRICING
Harper said he will also introduce new policies to help meet Canada’s INDC.
“There will have to be additional regulatory measures going forward to achieve these targets … First of all, that improves prospects for jobs – ways that do not kill jobs,” he said, according to AFP.
Secondly, Harper said, he will not introduce carbon taxes and “stick taxpayers with the bill”.
“Anybody who tells you that a carbon tax is an environmental policy is trying to pull the wool over your eyes,” he said.
“The reason they do carbon taxes, it’s not to reduce emissions but put more tax revenue in the government’s pocket.”
The Canadian minister for natural resources Greg Rickford earlier this month announced that Canada and the United States had agreed to begin talks on how to implement cross-border greenhouse gas emissions regulations in the oil and gas sector – a policy that will likely feature prominently in Canada’s INDC.
While the federal government is opposed to putting a price on CO2 emissions, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, is considering launching a cap-and-trade scheme that would mean 75% of Canadians will live in a province with some form of carbon pricing.
By Ben Garside – firstname.lastname@example.org