Canada Checkup

Canada—Moving Forward

The 2016 Government Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCFCGCC) is intended to help achieve Canada’s Paris Agreement commitments.  It calls for investments in green infrastructure, public transport, clean technology, and increased carbon sequestration. Carbon pricing is the core of the PCFCGCC. Provinces are required to institute a minimum carbon price of $10/tonne by 2018, rising to $50/tonne by 2022, or to have a federal carbon levy imposed on them.

Canada’s 2017 budget supports the beginning of the Framework implementation. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce supports Canada’s priority on climate change but recommends the use of additional economic/financial measures such as an updated carbon pricing policy and increased private sector involvement.

Canada’s Paris Agreement target is a 30% reduction below 2005 levels of emissions by 2030. The Climate Tracker (last updated Nov. 2016) states Canada as not reaching its Paris target but notes a national mandatory carbon-pricing plan could change this outlook. I see PCFCGCC quantifying its impact in meeting Canada’s INDC goals.

Climate Action Network Canada’s analysis supports the Framework but seeks more detail on how the Framework will be implemented. The Citizens Climate Agreement Campaign (Nov. 2015) asked that Canada adopt 1990 as a baseline vs 2005, strengthen its target, avoid international emission market schemes and implement a domestic carbon tax. The 30% reduction (523 megatonnes of CO2 eq) or 14.5% below 1990 levels was set by our previous government who withdrew from Kyoto, rolled back regulations and undermined climate action for a decade. Our new government has had to keep the Paris targets set in 2015 by the previous government. As of last month, Canada has not committed to international carbon trading.

I believe Canada is moving forward consistently, especially considering the past decade’s lost opportunity. The Framework (released only in Dec. 2016) sets out actions that will contribute to meeting or exceeding Canada’s 2030 target. Comparisons of carbon pricing systems across Canada will start in 2020. Emissions projections will be updated yearly as Framework measures are designed and implemented. Many factors cannot be foreseen with certainty such as economic and population growth, energy markets and projections, technologies, consumer behavior, and policies aimed at emissions reductions.

Learn More

Climate Action Network Canada’s Analysis and Summary of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change, Dec 12, 2016 and response to Canada’s 2017 budget, Mar 22, 2017
http://climateactionnetwork-28b0.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/1PCFanalysis_CAN-Rac.pdf
http://climateactionnetwork-28b0.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/ENReact_Budget2017.pdf
Click link within blog to review the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s assessment of Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change, Dec. 15, 2016
http://www.chamber.ca/media/blog/161215-pan-canadian-framework-on-clean-growth-and-climate-change/
Canada’s Second Biennial Report on Climate Change translates 2005 targets to 1990 levels (a document that reflects comprehensive 2015 data)
https://www.ec.gc.ca/ges-ghg/default.asp?lang=En&n=02D095CB-1
UNCCC Session SBI46 (2016) – Canada’s position on international climate markets, multi-lateral assessments – questions and answers/Canada – responses April 28, 2017
http://unfccc.int/files/focus/mitigation/the_multilateral_assessment_process_under_the_iar/application/pdf/sbi46_can_questionsandanswers_a.pdf
Assessment of Canada’s ability to meet emissions targets, Feb, 27, 2017
Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators, Progress Towards Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target
http://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2017/eccc/En4-144-48-2017-eng.pdf