COP26: Trudeau pushes for global carbon pricing

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pressured the world to have 60 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions covered by a price of pollution by 2030, during a speech at the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow on Tuesday.

Trudeau started his second and final day at the annual climate negotiations by hosting a CO2 pricing event that showed Canada’s carbon price as one of the most ambitious and, in his words, strict in the world.

“What a strong carbon price does, when properly designed, is actually driving these price signals to the private sector, transforming the economy and supporting citizens in encouraging them to make better choices,” he said.

He started the first day with a speech in which he called on the rest of the world to follow in Canada’s footsteps and negotiate a global minimum price for carbon.

Trudeau compared the idea to the minimum corporate tax of 15 percent, which more than 130 countries have now signed on to implement in an effort to prevent large multinationals from avoiding tax by channeling their profits through low-tax countries.

“It ensures that those who are leaders in terms of pricing pollution are not unfairly punished,” he said.

Carbon prices have been a political minefield in Canada, with opposing conservative provincial premieres taking the fight to a hero to the Supreme Court, which upheld the program.

The Conservative Party at the national level, long opposed to the policy as a “tax on everything”, is now itself involved in an internal debate on the benefits.

Leader Erin O’Toole promised to implement a version of a carbon award at the recent election with a rewards card-like system.

Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault said on Monday that he believes this COP meeting could be what sets in motion the start of a real debate on a global carbon price.

He said there is an interest in the idea that he has never seen before.

“Then it’s a done deal?” he asked. “Absolutely not. Could Glasgow be the moment we actually start working on developing something like this? I think it has the potential to do that.”

Canada’s carbon price started in 2019 at $ 20 per tonne. tonnes and is expected to rise to USD 170 per tonne. tons in 2030. The current price of 40 USD per. tons, gasoline adds about 8.8 cents per. liters, or about $ 3.50 more each time you fill your car with 40 gallons of gasoline.

But discount checks are included in the tax returns to make the program revenue neutral. The idea is that a carbon price should not leave families with less money, but provide an incentive to find ways to cut fossil fuel consumption by making it cost more.

This also applies to natural gas, propane, jet fuel and any other liquid fuel, based on the weight of greenhouse gas emissions produced when this fuel is burned.

Canada’s national award only applies to provinces that do not have a similar provincial policy in place – Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and New Brunswick.

A separate policy for large industrial emitters uses the same price, but is charged only for part of the total emissions produced, rather than for the fuels that emitters buy to operate their machines.

Citizens Climate Lobby says there are 64 CO2 pricing policies in place around the world, including a direct price on carbon emissions and cap-and-trade systems.

More than two dozen are national policies, and the rest are subnational, including state or provincial governments in the United States and Canada, and cities like Tokyo.

The United States and Australia are the only two fully developed economies without any form of carbon pricing.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on November 2, 2021.


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