Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced his intention of forging a national climate change strategy with the provinces to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to at least 30 percent below their 2005 levels by 2030. Yet without a national standard for emissions pricing, and a federal mechanism to enforce it, the country has been left with a hodgepodge of highly disparate provincial emissions regulations that put Canada in no better position to achieve current emissions targets than it was to meet past targets. The federal government needs to assume a leadership role by establishing a national carbon tax that can be harmonized with existing provincial pricing mechanisms to achieve national emissions reduction targets. This paper suggests six policy recommendations the federal government should consider in the design and scope of an effective climate change strategy with the provinces.
Closing the Gap between Canadian Emissions Targets and Performance: The Role of a National Carbon Tax
CIGI Paper No. 105