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Carbon tax would have to double if Trudeau wants to meet Paris targets: Budget Officer

In other words, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s departmental figures don’t add up.

This article was published more than 1 year ago, information might not be accurate.

Jason Unrau Montreal, QC

The Liberal government’s carbon tax would have to more than double and be “spread broadly covering all sectors” to meet our Paris Agreement commitments, the Public Budget Officer reports.

“Environment and Climate Change Canada’s projection shows that Canada will not meet its emissions target under current policies and measures,” said PBO Yves Giroux. “(And) that an additional carbon price of $52 per ton in 2030 would be required to achieve Canada’s target under the Paris Agreement.”

According to PBO, this regime would reduce our annual greenhouse gas emissions to 513 megatons: the Paris target of lowering our emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels.

The PBO’s analysis applies an additional carbon tax of $6 per ton annually needs to be applied beyond the Liberal’s $50/tonne, 2020 ceiling – this would increase the carbon tax to $102/ton by 2030.

So in other words, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna’s departmental figures don’t add up, nor claims the tax would meet Paris commitments, by ultimately placing the burden on households, as opposed to already exempted, including ‘energy-intensive trade-exposed’ industries.

In April, Giroux’s office reported that based on such exemptions and the fuel-based nature of the tax meant that individuals and families would pay the most in carbon tax through, heating, non-renewable electricity costs and transportation.

Giroux’s office described its latest analysis  of the carbon tax as “differing significantly”, including every industrial pursuit except agriculture and applying across provinces and territories. The PBO also factored that revenues would be returned to households in “lump sum payments.”

On April 1st of this year, the federally mandated carbon tax of $20/ton took effect in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick – provinces that had declined to implement their own regimes.

With the exception of New Brunswick, each province has challenged  Ottawa’s constitutional authority to impose the tax. Saskatchewan lost a split-decision in its court of appeal challenge last month, but Premier Scott Moe has vowed to take it to the Supreme Court.

Alberta premier Jason Kenney has also threatened a constitutional challenge on the tax. Kenney’s first order of business after winning the April provincial election was to repeal the province’s own carbon tax legislation.

Read PBO’s Closing the gap: carbon pricing for the Paris target: Download

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