Stephen Harper’s federal Conservative government has rejected the idea of a carbon tax — a key recommendation from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) that was tasked with developing policy solutions to allow Canada to meet its goal of reducing the absolute levels of greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent from 2006 levels by 2020.
Environment Minister John Baird told reporters his government would not consider such at tax and insisted that the way to reduce greenhouse gases was through regulation.
“We believe we can regulate emissions lower … under a strong principal of polluter pays,” Baird said, adding: “We regulated the lead out of gasoline, and we think this needs a similar approach.”
The independent federal agency spent a year compiling its report at the behest of the minister of the environment and concluded it’s necessary to put a price on a tonne of carbon emitted. If industry knew how much a tonne of carbon was worth, it would then be possible to consider a carbon tax and/or a cap-and-trade system that would set limits on how much carbon a polluter could produce.