The federal Liberals would have to raise their carbon tax a staggering amount if it wants to meet its climate change targets, says Blacklock’s Reporter.
Cabinet would have to impose a $261 per tonne carbon tax – the equivalent of an extra 62¢ per litre of gasoline – to meet its targets, the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) said Wednesday.
But Environment Minister Jonathan Wilkinson promised there will be no further increases in fuel charges.
“We estimate they would have to be equivalent to an additional $91 per tonne carbon levy to reduce emissions,” said a PBO report.
The $91 is in addition to a $170 charge announced by cabinet last December 11, a total $261 per tonne.
Analysts said the equivalent tax would cut labour income by more than 1% across the country – up to 4% for transport workers and 11% in the oil and gas industry.
“In addition, we project workers with lower levels of education will see larger income losses,” said the report.
“Our assessment shows the largest economic impact of reducing emissions will fall on the transportation and oil and gas sectors,” said Budget Officer Yves Giroux.
His report said there was little hope new technologies would lower greenhouse gas emissions without higher taxes.
“While technologies to achieve this reduction are currently available, the scale and speed of the changes will make it challenging to achieve,” wrote analysts.
Parliament in 2018 passed the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act that capped the carbon tax at $50 per tonne. The higher $261 charge is equivalent to an extra 41 cents per litre of propane, 52 cents per cubic metre of natural gas, 62 cents for gasoline, 68 cents for aviation fuel and 73 cents more for diesel.
Cabinet in 2019 promised it would not raise the carbon tax cap.
“The price will not go up,” then-Environment Minister Catherine McKenna told reporters June 13, 2019.
“The plan is not to increase the price.”
“There is no secret agenda,” McKenna said August 26, 2019. “Any decision to move up would be in consultation with the provinces.”
“Are you committing to not going over $50 per tonne?” asked a reporter.
“That’s all we have,” replied McKenna.
Cabinet subsequently raised the cap 240% to $170 per tonne.
“I’m excited. We will win the race against climate change,” McKenna said at the time.
Dave Naylor is the News Editor of the Western Standard
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