Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday December 10, 2016
Canada’s Liberal Government, Most Provinces Set to Endorse Climate Pact
Canada’s Liberal government and the bulk of provinces are set to endorse a pact late Friday to fight climate change, even as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tries to revive the energy sector with the recent approval of two pipeline projects.
The climate pact is expected to endorse a federal carbon-pricing scheme unveiled in October and plans to phase out coal-power electricity, and comes as President-elect Donald Trump signals Washington is moving to lessen regulation in a bid to drum up more investment in U.S. resource development.
Vice President Joe Biden, in Ottawa as part of a two-day visit the Canadian capital, urged Canadian leaders to carry on with their carbon-reduction efforts because corporate America and the rest of the world are on that very path, despite the policies of the incoming administration.
“Whatever uncertainty exists around the near term policy choices of the next president, I am absolutely confident the United States will continue making progress in its path to a low-carbon future,” Mr. Biden told Mr. Trudeau and provincial premiers. “Regardless of whether the next administration is as aggressive as we have been … there is no way to turn back this tide that has begun to roll.”
At an official dinner Thursday, Mr. Biden said the world would be counting on Canada and Mr. Trudeau to show leadership on important global issues at this time of uncertainty in Europe and the U.S.
Mr. Trudeau has positioned the fight against climate change as one of his government’s signature issues, with the Liberal government aiming to reduce carbon output by 30% below 2005 levels before 2030. Agreement among Ottawa and the provincial capitals fulfills a promise from Mr. Trudeau to build a national consensus on tackling climate change, and marks a pivot from the previous Conservative administration which tended to focus on championing resource development.
Not all Canadian provinces, though, will be onboard. Brad Wall, the premier of Saskatchewan, said he won’t endorse any pan-Canadian climate-change plan that calls for a carbon tax. Under the federal plan, Canada would start pricing carbon pollution at 10 Canadian dollars ($7.58) a metric ton in 2018, and that would rise steadily to C$50 a ton in 2022. (Source: Wall Street Journal)