MEDIA RELEASE: Climate Group Applauds the Federal Government’s Plan to Price Pollution

Climate Group Applauds the Federal Government’s Plan to Price Pollution

Conservatives should embrace pricing carbon pollution too

FOR IMMEDIATE MEDIA RELEASE: May 19, 2017
Media Contact: Cathy Orlando, cathy@citizensclimatelobby.org , 705-929-4043


Sudbury, ON: “Canadians realize that polluting isn’t free,” proclaimed the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Environment and Climate Change Minister when she arrived at the podium in the foyer of the House of Commons on Thursday, May 18, 2018, 2017 to make her case for Canada’s national carbon pricing policy.

“We know that carbon pollution causes droughts, fires and floods across our country and across the world, and that it impacts on our health through issues like asthma, premature mortality and more emergency room visits,” McKenna continued, reviewing the consequences of climate change and dirty air. “It’s the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions,” McKenna said of pricing carbon.

“McKenna is correct in her assertion that pricing carbon pollution is the lowest-cost way to reduce emissions,” says Cathy Orlando, National Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada. “An April 2015 study from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission determined that the Canadian economy would grow by an additional 3.7% by 2020 with a well-designed carbon pricing policy compared to using regulatory mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions.”

On October 3, 2016, the Government of Canada released “The pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution” – the benchmark – outlining the criteria that carbon pricing systems implemented by provinces and territories need to meet. The goal of the benchmark is to ensure that carbon pollution pricing applies to a broad set of emission sources with increasing stringency over time in order to reduce GHG emissions at lowest cost to business and consumers and support innovation and clean growth.

The occasion of McKenna’s appearance in the foyer was her department’s release of a “technical paper” on the “federal carbon pricing backstop,” but mostly it was to provide fodder for debate.

“It is rather surprising that other than the Honourable Michael Chong, a Conservative Leadership Candidate, the Conservative Party of Canada has not embraced carbon pricing given its economic efficiency and polluter’s pay principle that is often associated with conservative-minded people,” says Orlando. “Conservatives in the USA are embracing carbon pricing. The Climate Leadership Council, which includes Republicans Henry Paulson, George Shultz and James Baker, released a Carbon Dividends Plan, with all the revenue returned equally to households in quarterly dividends. ”

The Conservative Party of Canada is currently voting for their next leader to replace the Right Honourable Stephen Harper. Political parties and politicians wanting to win any election should note that only 2 per cent of Canadians belong to political parties. Thus, their job is to convince 98% of us that their party is worthy of our vote. Canadians want centrist governments. According to an October 2016 NANOS poll, three-quarters of Canadians are in favour of a national climate plan to ensure we achieve our international carbon-emission reduction targets.

“Dismissiveness is a feeling or showing that something is unworthy of consideration,” reflected Orlando. “Conservatives may want to rethink why they are being dismissive about carbon pricing. Political stripes aside, their dismissiveness may be something they regret in 2019.”

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