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Ottawa sees the way to achieving the goal of the Paris Climate through investment in transit, the adoption of new technologies


Environment Minister Catherine McKenna speaks at a news conference on Canada's climate plan at the National Press Theater, Ottawa, on December 20, 2018.

Justin Tang / The Canadian Press

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna insists that Canada is on its way to meeting its goal in Paris, despite a report by its department on Thursday that the government still has no clear way to achieve this.

At a press conference annually, the minister said the country is making progress in reducing greenhouse gases – despite the fact that Ontari's return to the previous emission reduction plan – and can count on investments in public transit and the adoption of new technologies, such as electric vehicles in the next 12 years will close the void identified in the report of its department to the United Nations.

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The Liberal government faces a difficult battle with several prime ministers and MPs on a carbon tax on taxes on carbon emissions that will begin next year, along with a series of other regulations that will impose new spending on consumers and energy producers. Ms. McCain acknowledged that the Liberal Climate Plan is likely to be the main issue in the federal election scheduled for next fall, but said the government is delivering the promises made in the 2015 campaign to put the price of carbon emissions in the fight against climate change change.

"We have to fight if we want to protect the Canada we value," she said. "We have to renew our commitments and continue to work harder. Our government will remain firm in the progress in our climate plan with the Canadians and reach our goals."

A global failure to tackle climate change will impose even higher costs for Canadians, the minister said, pointing to floods, winds of waves and forest fires over the past year that scientists say will worsen how global temperatures are rising.

Canada's Environmental and Climate Change report says the policy currently in place will bring three quarters of the emission reduction required to meet the Paris target in the country of 513 megatonnes (MT), equivalent to a GHG reduction of 30% at the 2005 level 2030. However, 79 MT reductions will have to come from the adoption of new technologies in Canadians or in measures such as large-scale public-transit investments that are under way and are being planned – the impact of which is uncertain.

The government's rejection of the Ontario government on the previous provincial plan has increased that gap for uncertainty by 30 MT, the department said.

Environment and Climate Change Canada has also announced new details of the two previously announced climate policies of the government: applying carbon tax on large industrial broadcasters and regulations for reducing carbon content in gas, diesel and other fuels.

Ottawa will impose its obligation on consumers in four provinces that do not have their own broad carbon base either in the form of taxes or a system of cover and trade. These are Saskatchewan, Ontario, Manitoba and Nev Brunsvick. For consumers, the tax will come into force on April 1, starting at $ 20 per ton – or 4.3 cents per liter of gasoline – and will increase to $ 50 per ton of 2022. All revenue from the openings will open to provinces in which they were erected, with 90 percent going to households, the government says.

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For the large-scale industry, the tax will start on January 1, but will pay only a small percentage of total emissions, a system that should encourage the reduction of GHG and protect the competitiveness of Canadian companies. They will be applied in Ontario, Manitoba, Nev Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, as well as in the transmission of electricity and natural gas in Saskatchewan, which have drawn these sectors out of their regulations on large enamels.

The Federal Plan set standards for 38 industrial activities, based on average emissions from their sectors. Most companies will pay carbon tax on carbon dioxide emissions that exceed 80 percent of the industry average. If they are below 80 percent of the industrial average, they will receive loans that can be sold. Several industries will receive special treatment to reflect their high risk of foreign competition. Three sectors – petrochemicals, nitrogen fertilizers and iron and steel – will pay emission taxes over 90 percent of the industrial average, while cement and lime have a threshold of 95 percent.

Ottawa has also issued draft regulations for a new clean fuel standard that will require fuel distributors to increase the amount of ethanol or other biofuels blended in their products or find ways to improve the energy efficiency of their supply chain. The government expects the clean fuel standard to reduce GHG of 23 MT from current levels by 2030. While consumer spending is not yet known, Ms. McKenna insisted that it be "minimal."

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