MEDIA RELEASE: A “Great” America Needs Canada

A “Great” America Needs Canada

Parliament Must Even the Playing Field and Save the Climate with Border Tax Adjustments

FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE January 30, 2017, Media Contact: Cathy Orlando, , 705-929-4043

Sudbury ON: As Parliament resumes today, Monday, January 30, 2017, the new Trump administration will probably be top of mind. On Friday, January 20, the United States ushered in a new President and administration that is scaling back efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On inauguration day climate change disappeared from the White House website. Subsequently, President Trump signed executive orders to revive the Dakota Access and Keystone XL Pipelines. His administration is muzzling government scientists too.

Questions will probably be raised regarding Canada’s plans for a national rising fee on carbon, scheduled to begin in 2018. If Canada places a rising fee on carbon, and the U.S. does not, will not Canadian industries uproot to its neighbour to avoid the tax? While at first blush it appears that Canada’s climate plans may be compromised as a result of the recent U.S. election, there is a compelling economic case for Canada to stay the course and indeed exceed its Paris climate commitments.

The writing is on the wall: the trend to clean energy is now irreversible. Canada should not follow the U.S. on its fossil-fueled folly. As it stands Canada is struggling to catch up in recapturing its share of clean energy business globally and is facing a possible $10 barrel of oil in just ten years’ time. The need for strong leadership in clean energy development has never been more urgent.

Additionally, Canada’s current carbon price of $50 per tonne by 2022 won’t be enough to meet Canada’s goal of reducing emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. As well, this goal is woefully inadequate.  If every country adopted Canada’s targets this would not keep warming below 2oC, let alone the 1.5oC nations promised to pursue in Paris.

President Trump is touting border taxes and will be renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) to protect US jobs. The fact is a “great” America needs Canada. Canada is the U.S.’s No. 1 destination for exports in the world. An estimated 9 million jobs in 35 states depend on exports to Canada.

The raising of border taxes can go both ways and NAFTA is not needed to protect Canada from trade deals that ignore the threat of climate change. Under the World Trade Organization, Canada can level the playing field by enacting border taxes.

“Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers across Canada will support MPs who vote for border taxes on the Canadian side if America does not have equivalent carbon taxes on its side. Plus President Trump could make America better by enacting a national and revenue-neutral carbon tax too. And, a border tax adjustment on carbon pollution would provide the impetus to do so,” says Cathy Orlando, National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada.

A 2014 U.S. study by Regional Economic Models, Inc. examined the impact of a steadily rising fee on carbon with revenue returned to households in the United States. Among other findings, the study shows that, after 20 years, a fee on carbon dioxide rising $10 per ton each year would reduce greenhouse gas emissions 52 percent while adding 2.8 million jobs to the economy.