Media Release: Environment Commissioner Says Canada Will Not Meet Its 2030 Target: Canada Can Bend the Curve With A Strong Carbon Pricing Policy

Environment Commissioner Says Canada Will Not Meet Its 2030 Target:

Canada Can Bend the Curve With A Strong Carbon Pricing Policy

Contact: Cathy Orlando, National Director,, 705-929-4043

Sudbury (ON):  On Tuesday, Julie Gelfand, Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development,  bluntly outlined the conclusions of her report: the government has failed to implement successive greenhouse gas emissions-reduction plans. Her assessment covers the 2010-2017 time period.

“It’s time for change. The federal government needs to start doing the hard work to turn this latest broad framework into tangible and measurable actions,” Gelfand concludes in her report.

At the news conference, Gelfand said at this point the government would not meet its 2030 target without additional measures, but said it needs time to “bend the curve.”

The government released the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016, which was endorsed by all provinces and territories except Saskatchewan and Manitoba. In the Pan-Canadian Clean Growth and Climate Plan, the government recognizes that this transition can result in a strong, diverse and competitive economy.

An important component of the Pan-Canadian Framework is the carbon pricing legislation. Currently, 86% of Canada’s population is already covered by a carbon price and by 2018 that number will rise to 100%. Canada’s national carbon pricing policy will be revenue neutral for the national government. All revenues generated will remain in that province or territory.

“We applaud the Canadian government for its national price on carbon, uniting all provinces and territories with a minimum and rising fee. This is an important step to help Canada in its transition to a clean energy economy,” says Cathy Orlando, Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada’s National Director. “However, the Federal government has committed to increasing the fee for only five years yet the target year is 2030.  A five year commitment is not enough to meet Canada’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. We call on the Canadian government to extend the rising fee to year 2030. This will bend the curve.”

From October 21-24, 2017, CCL members will be in Ottawa lobbying their MPs.  They will present 5 simple steps to improve Canada’s carbon pricing policy.

  1.  That the carbon price is economy wide and  is applied upstream: at the wellhead, coal mine or point of entry into the economy.
  2. That the national carbon price continues to rise past 2022 with the objective of Canada exceeding our Paris targets and becoming a world leader in tackling the climate crisis and in the clean tech industry.
  3. That border tax adjustments are included in the policy to level the playing field for domestic industries with international jurisdictions without a similar carbon price.
  4. That the federal government work with the provinces and territories to ensure provincial carbon pricing systems can keep up with the rising federal minimum carbon price without imposing any additional burdens on low and middle-income Canadians. For example, the federal government could propose carbon fee and dividend as a model policy.
  5. To ensure that there is a consistent policy towards combating climate change, that the federal government, as promised in the 2015 Liberal election platform, end financial subsidies to fossil fuel companies.

“Extending the rising carbon fee to 2030, providing comprehensive coverage, and imposing border tax adjustments will help ensure a strong, diverse and competitive economy inspiring other countries to take Canada’s lead.  The future will be Canada’s when we enact an effective carbon pricing policy. Our volunteers want to help Canada win the race to the top,” states Orlando.