Canada will implement a national policy to charge polluters for emitting carbon dioxide by the end of the year, a top government official said.
Catherine McKenna, Canada’s environment minister, told Bloomberg TV Canada that the goal of the policy is a uniform national carbon price, along with new requirements for companies to disclose emissions.
“What we want to see is uniformity in terms of a national price, also that we’re doing it in a thoughtful way, and provinces and territories need to decide what they’re doing with the revenues,” she said.
Four provinces representing about 80 percent of Canada’s population currently have some kind of carbon pricing policies, which usually consist of either a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system.
Asked whether her pledge means that provinces and territories without a tax currently would be forced to implement one, McKenna told Bloomberg, “I don’t like the word forced. I think this is really an opportunity.”
“We need a national price on carbon,” she said. “So that’s what we’re going to have in the fall.”
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met in March with the leaders of all of the provinces and territories, and asked them to propose by October climate plans for their jurisdictions that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Trudeau, a member of the Liberal party, came to power last year, replacing Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Harper had resisted wide-ranging climate policies, and Trudeau’s party was elected in part due to its promise to take climate more seriously.