VANCOUVER — The federal government’s decision to implement a national carbon price is a landmark incentive for producing cleaner energy in Canada.

“This decision was a long time coming,” said David Suzuki Foundation science and policy director Ian Bruce. “We’ve seen effective carbon pricing in B.C., Quebec and California. Now, with the entire country on board, the federal government has laid the foundation for a forward-thinking climate-action strategy.”

The national carbon price supports the economy and public health, Bruce said. “Putting a price on carbon pollution gives an incentive for all Canadians — individuals, families, communities and businesses — to be part of the solution.”

Since B.C.’s carbon tax was introduced in 2008, the province has seen more than 8,400 British Columbians employed in the clean technology sector. Research suggests that since B.C.’s tax was introduced, British Columbians have paid less on gasoline, on average — thanks to decreased consumption and more efficient use, incentivized by the price on carbon. As the province’s gasoline prices increased by approximately 1 per cent (or $0.01 / L), fuel consumption decreased by 1.6 per cent.

“Going green will be much easier now,” Bruce said. “Our research shows that renewable energy will become more affordable, spurring innovation, growing Canada’s clean technology economy and making the air we all breathe cleaner.”

Although the decision marks a milestone in Canada’s climate action strategy, Bruce said further details are still forthcoming and the price on carbon will not be effective on its own.

“This is a big, foundational piece in Canada’s climate action strategy, but we need to ensure that the federal government enacts other solutions that are also key to our country’s climate plan, such as prioritizing cleaner transportation and phasing out subsidies to fossil fuel companies, which act as a negative carbon price and negate this hard-fought progress.”

The carbon price will start at $10 per tonne in 2018, increasing by $10 each year until 2022.

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Media contacts:

Brendan Glauser
David Suzuki Foundation

Emily Fister
David Suzuki Foundation