PM Trudeau's pledges at COP26, and how they might affect Canadians
TORONTO -- Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has spent the last two days at the UN's COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, U.K., promoting the Canadian government's vision for climate action.
Many of Trudeau's proclamations at the summit reflected promises he made during the federal election campaign earlier this year. One such platform item he pushed for Tuesday was the implementation of a global price on carbon.
"Tackling the climate crisis will take all of us," he said in a news release. "Together, the global community needs to accelerate new and bold approaches to fighting climate change and building cleaner economies."
Trudeau further pledged action to tackle climate change through various programs, as well as increased aid for developing countries to help them transition toward cleaner economies.
Here's what the PM promised the world at COP26, and how it would affect Canadian taxpayers.
PRICE ON POLLUTION
Currently, more than 20 per cent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions are covered by a price on carbon, according to the PMO. Trudeau called for world leaders to come together and triple that figure to 60 per cent by 2030.
"What a strong carbon price does, when it's properly designed, is actually drive those price signals to the private sector, transform the economy and support citizens in encouraging them to make better choices," he said Tuesday.
Canada's current price on carbon sits at $40 per tonne, and is set to rise to $170 per tonne by 2030.
At the current price, the cost of gasoline, for example, is increased by about 8.8 cents per litre.
Provinces and territories that have adopted the federal pricing system have the proceeds returned to them. In places that have not met federal requirements, namely Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, rebates are issued to citizens to help offset increased prices.
Starting in July 2022, those rebates, called Climate Action Incentive payments, will be issued quarterly, Trudeau announced. This was a pledge made previously during the election campaign.
CAP ON EMISSIONS
Trudeau promised on Monday a cap on Canadian oil and gas emissions, an item on the Liberal Party platform during the election campaign. He pledged to reduce emissions by 40 to 45 per cent, compared to 2005 levels, by 2030.
The announcement met by criticism from some.
"That's not good enough as a target," Green Party MP Elizabeth May told Evan Solomon on CTV's Power Play on Monday, saying the focus should be on cutting oil and gas production, not emissions.
Trudeau also stated a goal of net-zero emissions in the oil and gas sector by 2050. No additional details were provided on how Canada would achieve its target.
On Monday, Trudeau stated a commitment toward achieving net-zero emissions within Canada's electricity grid by 2035, which was also an item on his party's platform during the election campaign.
He also announced up to $1 billion in aid to help developing countries transition from coal-based electricity to clean power.
On Tuesday, Canada officially joined the Global Methane Pledge, which aims to reduce methane emissions by at least 30 per cent below 2020 levels by 2030. Trudeau also repeated another election campaign promise to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by 75 per cent below 2012 levels by 2030.
Trudeau once again committed to protecting 25 per cent of the country's land and oceans by 2025, re-stating a promise he previously made to Canadians. He also said the government will move forward on another promise made earlier this year by planting two billion trees.
In addition, Trudeau promoted the rights, knowledge, and leadership of Indigenous peoples in conservation, including by supporting Indigenous-led stewardship initiatives.
He also announced Tuesday an extra $9 million in support for the global Ocean Risk and Resilience Alliance to support work in helping developing island nations and coastal countries face the challenges of climate change.
On top of that, he pledged another $6 million for the Global Fund for Coral Reefs to support coral reef conservation efforts.
Trudeau endorsed the Global Forest Finance Pledge, which at COP26 announced its intention to provide US$12 billion for forest-related climate finance from 2021 to 2025 to help forested developing countries deal with climate change.
MORE INTERNATIONAL AID
Trudeau announced Tuesday investments of up to $57.5 million to help some of the world's poorest countries adapt to climate change.
Canada will also provide $55 million over three years to the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a global research partnership that includes international organizations engaged in food security. The money will be put toward facing the challenges to food, land and water systems under threat by climate change, according to the PMO, while also promoting gender equality, creating new jobs and delivering environmental benefits around the world.
With files from The Canadian Press
The estimated price increase of 8.8 cents per litre of gasoline is based on Canada's current price on carbon, not the 2030 figure.