Clare Demerse, associate director of the Pembina Institute's climate change program, made the following statement in response to today's release of the "Parallel Paths" report from the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE):
"This report raises some fundamental questions about the government's longstanding policy of waiting for the U.S. before implementing strong climate policies in Canada.
"The Round Table's detailed and credible analysis shows that Canada would see strong economic growth across the country even if we lead the United States in adopting a broad-based price on greenhouse gas pollution.
"In contrast, the report shows that simply matching U.S. carbon prices would likely mean failing to meet Canada's national emission reduction target.
"The report also includes a new assessment of the massive gap between Canada's projected growth in emissions and the government's target. Based on Environment Canada's own analysis, the Round Table shows that current federal policies get Canada less than 13 per cent of the way towards the government's 2020 target — leaving a gap of 178 million tonnes of greenhouse gases between the target and projected emissions growth, even once provincial policies are factored in. [See Figure 6, p. 39]
"Canada clearly needs stronger climate policies, fast — and today's analysis shows that cutting greenhouse gas pollution in Canada is both affordable and feasible. As the Round Table's research shows, there are no credible excuses for delay.
"While we would like to see Canada adopt a stronger climate policy package than the one today's report recommends, this analysis nonetheless raises important questions that Environment Minister Peter Kent should answer urgently."
Clare Demerse (English / français)
Associate Director, Climate Change, Pembina Institute
Phone: 613-216-1976 ext. 24
Learn more about the options Minister Kent faces on climate policy.
Learn more about the benefits of Canada acting independent of the U.S. on climate policy.