Peter Kent said that his government is not interested in setting up a cap and trade system without similar steps being taken in the U.S., according to the Vancouver Sun.
“We have no plan to do that at the moment,” said Kent, who became environment minister after a cabinet reshuffle this month.”We’ve chosen to move ahead with regulation and we believe that we’re seeing early results.”
The report by the government-appointed National Roundtable on the Environment and the Economy said that Canada should take a phased approach to its carbon reduction policy to begin reducing emissions while avoiding policies that are too different from that of the U.S.
“In this way, we get ahead of the curve, but carefully so, ensuring economic impacts on Canada are manageable and sustained environmental progress toward achieving our 2020 targets occurs,” the report says.
At international climate change meetings, Canada has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020, the Toronto Star said.
Canada’s conservative government has delayed introducing regulations on industrial emissions while it waits for the U.S. to introduce its own emissions reduction systems. U.S. proposals for a cap and trade program died in Congress last session.
But the report says Canada should introduce a national cap and trade system, as well as a clean energy technology fund.
“There are economic risks from independent Canadian action,” the report said, “but there are also risks to inaction.”
The report writers said their plan “positions us now to harmonize along Canadian interests when U.S. policy direction is finalized later.”
The report says Canada should ensure that the trading price of carbon never reaches more than $30 per ton higher than the U.S. price.
It also says the government should maintain its current policy of adopting new vehicle emissions standards that mirror those south of the border.