Government of Canada clarifies timelines for national price on carbon pollution

Pembina Institute reacts to federal ministers’ letter to provinces and territories

OTTAWA — Erin Flanagan, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release of a federal letter and supplemental guidance document outlining next steps on the pan-Canadian carbon price:

“Today, the federal government clarified its timelines and expectations for the year ahead with respect to implementation of the pan-Canadian price on carbon pollution.

“Central to an effective carbon pricing system is the commitment to a continually rising price. We’re pleased to see confirmation that the national benchmark will rise to $20 per tonne on January 1, 2019, despite a slower lift-off in 2018.

“The national benchmark is fair and flexible. It rewards provinces and territories that step up and design policies that work best for their regional circumstances — as most have done over the course of 2017.

“Today’s documents further confirm that the Government of Canada will evaluate each provincial and territorial pricing system to ensure it generates incremental emissions reductions between 2018 and 2022. Carbon pricing systems that don’t drive emissions reductions are missing the point. In order to preserve the ambition of the collective pan-Canadian approach, Ottawa mustn’t let provinces off the hook if they put forward inadequate policies.

“Canada is not alone in its pursuit of cost-effective emissions reductions through carbon pricing. Just yesterday, China unveiled new details on its national carbon market, which is set to become the largest emissions trading system in the world. The European Union is also in the process of negotiating key reforms to its carbon market to ensure it continues to align with European climate objectives.

“At the end of 2017, it’s safe to say Canada made important progress towards implementation of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. But work in 2018 remains critical to ensuring all measures are implemented and Canada’s clean growth objectives are obtained.”



Erin Flanagan
Federal Policy Director, Pembina Institute

Stephen Hui
Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Submission: Federal Carbon Pricing Backstop: Pembina Institute comments on technical paper (June 2017)

Report: Putting a price on carbon pollution across Canada (May 2017)

Op-ed: Why Canada should move forward with carbon pollution pricing (May 2017)

Statement: Pan-Canadian carbon price is big, positive news for economy and environment (October 2016)

Report: Building a Pan-Canadian Climate Plan (June 2016)

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