MEDIA RELEASE: Citizen lobby group applauds McKenna’s resolve on national carbon price

Media Release: Wednesday, September 21, 2016,
Contact: Cathy Orlando, 705-929-4043

Citizen lobby group applauds McKenna’s resolve on national carbon price

(Sudbury, ON) – Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) Canada applauds the Honourable Catherine McKenna’s commitment for a national price on carbon pollution.  A national carbon price is an important first step towards reconciling Canada’s current,  woefully inadequate international commitments for the urgent need for all nations to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Economists agree that carbon pricing is the most economically efficient method for GHG emissions reductions. Minister McKenna’s leadership is about to open a door to a prosperous, low carbon economy for Canada and the world. Canada’s lack of federal climate policies from 2008 to 2015 resulted in Canada losing 41% of the global share in clean tech sales. We can turn this around and we have a real example in Canada. British Columbia’s sales in clean technology grew by 48 percent in two years after the introduction of the province’s revenue neutral carbon tax in 2008.

Thus far, the provinces have led efforts to reduce our GHG emissions. It must be noted that only carbon pricing applied at a national level can be complemented with border carbon adjustments, which protect Canadian businesses from unfair foreign competition and encourage trading nations to also put a price on carbon.

Most importantly, we need a national price on carbon that will effectively reduce GHG emissions  and that cannot come soon enough. World renowned climatologist, Dr. James Hansen, in a 2016 peer-reviewed paper with 18 leading climate experts, warned that if we don’t significantly rein in GHG emissions very soon  “hell will break loose” with the Earth’s weather. According to the study, humans are pushing the climate towards irreversible tipping points that will cause superstorms unlike any we have seen in modern times and a catastrophic sea level rise of several metres which could potentially happen in this century without significant GHG reductions.

CCL Canada has been lobbying for carbon fee and dividend, a revenue neutral carbon tax in which all fees collected are returned equitably to citizens, since September 2010. In 2016, volunteers have collectively lobbied their Members of Parliament specifically for carbon fee and dividend 99 times in face-to-face meetings.

From November 26 to November 29, CCL Canada will hold our third national conference and lobbying days in Ottawa. Glen Hodgson, newly appointed Senior Fellow and former Vice President and Chief Economist at the Conference Board of Canada, will be the Keynote Speaker on Economics. Earlier this year, Glen Hodgson published an article called The Case for a Federal Carbon Tax.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby members have also launched an automated email where citizens can ask their Premiers to support a national price on carbon.

“It looks like an auspicious year lies ahead. Canada will be celebrating our 150th birthday, it will be100 years since the Battle of Vimy Ridge and we will finally start shifting some of Prime Minister Borden’s regressive and  temporary income tax of 1917  towards pollution taxes. After all, we should be taxing the things we don’t like, such as carbon pollution and not taxing the things we like, such as income.  Why?  Because it will be 2017!” says Cathy Orlando, National Director of CCL Canada.

We have the knowledge and the means to safeguard the planet for generations to come while still maintaining a vibrant and growing economy. If Canada’s national carbon price is truly effective in preserving a liveable world, this could be a historic moment and a time to celebrate. CCL wishes the Minister godspeed and we want her to know we have her back on carbon pricing.