Federal carbon price announced in Canada

Provincial governments in Canada are resisting the federal government’s plan to impose a carbon price higher than most of them have in place.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a nationwide floor price on emissions of greenhouse gases while inaugurating debate in the House of Commons over ratification of the Paris agreement on climate change.

The price would start at $10/tonne of carbon dioxide and rise to $50/tonne in 2022.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said she won’t support the move unless the federal government helps win approval for an oil pipeline linking her province with a Canadian coast. Alberta will impose a carbon tax of $20/tonne next year, increasing to $30/tonne in 2018.

The federal proposal meets stiff resistance in neighboring Saskatchewan, where Premier Brad Wall says the tax will devastate his province’s economy.

Like Alberta, British Columbia has a carbon tax lower that of the federal plan, but an increase is one of 190 conditions imposed by recent federal approval of a natural gas pipeline crucial to LNG development.

Quebec and Ontario have cap-and-trade plans but will have to ensure their emission cuts meet federal goals. Environment ministers of both provinces voiced approval of the federal plan.

Nova Scotia, which has aggressively cut emissions from power generation, is reported to be concerned about how Trudeau’s initiative will raise prices of gasoline and other fuels.

Other provinces are still formulating climate policies.

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