The climate crisis demands swift and ambitious action and that is why I sponsored this parliamentary petition e-2794. This petition calls on the government to update Canada’s climate action targets and improve our carbon pricing and rebate system.
Our current climate targets were set by the Harper government in 2015 and are not aligned with the targets set out in the Paris Agreement. We need to double these targets to effectively reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. It is only then that Canada will meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global temperatures to 1.5°C. Science tells us it is crucial for the existence of all species that we remain below this threshold.
In order to get there, Canada needs to implement a series of climate policies, including retrofitting houses and banning fracking. Another effective climate policy involves carbon pricing. Both economists and climate experts agree that a carbon tax and rebate system would help society transition to a low carbon economy.
Polluting the atmosphere should not be free. Taxing the top polluters encourages them to seek out alternative, sustainable solutions. Regular, direct rebates to Canadian families will demonstrate that the carbon tax is not a “cash-grab” by the government, and that it will not hurt middle and low income Canadians’ pocket books.
Our carbon tax needs to be doubled, but as the price on carbon increases, so should the rebates. Issuing direct rebates to Canadians in the form of regular cheques from the government, or direct bank deposits, rather than refundable income tax credits is a key component to the success of carbon pricing. Currently, these tax credits often go unnoticed. It has been proven that public support for these types of taxes increases when tax rebates are issued directly and regularly to citizens.
Please sign and share this petition. It's urgent that we get more ambitious about our climate targets and our climate policies.
We must remain below the 1.5 degree Celsius warming threshold to prevent catastrophic climate change;
Canada's current climate targets were set by the Harper government in 2015. They constitute approximately half of what must be done to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degree Celsius, as required under the Paris Agreement;
Climate Action Tracker, an independent international think tank, considers Canada’s projected emission levels for 2030 as “highly insufficient”;
As part of an integrated approach to address the climate crisis, economists agree that a steady increase in carbon pricing can be an effective way to transition to a low carbon economy;
The federal government scheduled an incremental increase to carbon pricing at $10 per tonne per year. This will end in 2022;
Canada's Ecofiscal Commission recommends an increase of $20 per tonne per year, past 2022 just to meet these “highly insufficient” emission reduction targets set by the Harper government;
Carbon price rebates give almost all Canadians, except for the top 20% of income earners, a net financial benefit.
We, the undersigned, citizens of Canada, call upon the Government of Canada to:
1. Update Canada's climate action targets to reflect science and the IPCC 2018 report;
2. Begin to implement carbon price increases at $25 per tonne per year past 2022;
3. Establish a panel of experts to review the yearly carbon price increments and ensure that they meet Canada's climate action targets; and
4. Ensure Canadians become fully aware of the carbon price rebates through regularly issued cheques or direct bank deposits.