OTTAWA | TRADITIONAL, UNCEDED TERRITORY OF THE ALGONQUIN ANISHNAABEG PEOPLE — Today the federal government announced a three-year pause for Atlantic provinces on carbon pricing for home heating oil and free electric heat pumps for those at or below the median household income in Atlantic provinces.

Tom Green, Senior Climate Policy Adviser, said:

“A three-year pause on the carbon levy on home heating oil just as it’s starting to bend down emissions is unfortunate. It creates uncertainty and will cause pollution pricing opponents to step up their attacks and misinformation. The levy remains one of the least expensive and most effective ways to shift behaviour, support a clean energy transition and make polluters pay. An evenly applied national levy, without loopholes, is one of our most effective climate tools and, with most households getting more in rebates than they pay through the levy, also helps with affordability challenges.

“With climate-fuelled weather events this summer on everyone’s mind, this is not the time to bring in exemptions to a levy that is doing its job. It sends the wrong signal to those who are developing new clean technologies and making clean economy investments. They will now have to wonder if their climate-friendly innovations and investments will pay off.

“Today’s announcement did include some good news for climate affordability and equity, as the government is offering free electric heat pumps to lower-income households and additional rebates for rural ones.

“With people in Canada struggling to afford their energy needs, and with energy poverty in Atlantic Canada among the highest in the country, free heat pumps offer an important affordability and climate solution for those who need it most.

“Heating homes has become a struggle for many people, with fossil fuel prices soaring after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the oil and gas industry gouging consumers. Heat pumps allow households to untether themselves from world oil prices. They are not just good for heating and cooling homes and for the climate, they are also good for pocketbooks, with considerable energy savings over many years.”

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