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Climate News Roundup
2016

In the past month, three Metcalf grantees from the Environment program released timely research examining Canada’s positions and policies on climate change.

what do canadians think about climate change?

A Nanos Research poll commissioned by Clean Energy Canada examined Canadians’ attitudes towards climate change. 1,000 people participated in the survey, which found that:

  • 70% agree or somewhat agree that climate change is a significant threat to Canada’s economic future.
  • 75% feel their province has an important responsibility to reduce carbon emissions by 2030 to help Canada achieve its national climate change commitments.
  • 66% agree or somewhat agree that it is more important to have a plan to meet Canada’s climate change targets than to have all provincial and territorial premiers agree with that plan.
  • 59% support or somewhat support the idea of putting a price on carbon emissions.

Tracking Pan-canadian climate progress

Examples of strong climate policy can be found across Canada, but the country lacks a national vision to achieve its climate goals. These are the findings of Race to the Front: Tracking pan-Canadian climate progress and where we go from, a report released by the Pembina Institute and funded by the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network, a Metcalf grantee.

Key findings of the report:

  • At present, Canada is not on track to achieve its 2020 emissions reduction goal under the Copenhagen Accord, nor its 2030 climate target.
  • Carbon pollution trends from 2005 to 2014 show significant progress at reducing emissions in some parts of Canada — namely Ontario, Quebec, and Atlantic Canada — but this progress was not matched in other parts of Canada.
  • For Canada to be credible on climate change, it must build a national policy framework that ensures the country will, at a minimum, meet its 2030 climate change goal.
  • This framework will likely require all jurisdictions to put a price on carbon, and for the federal government to establish regulations for key sectors to improve their climate performance.

Rethinking Canadian biofuel policies

Canada’s biofuel policies have helped to reduced GHG emissions, but these reductions have come at a significant cost. Course Correction: It’s Time to Rethink Canadian Biofuel Policies examines the extent to which biofuel policies have achieved their stated objectives, and whether these policies have been cost-effective for Canadians. The report was released by Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission.

Key findings of the report:

biofuelimpact
Course Correction concludes that:

  • Provincial and federal governments should phase out renewable fuel mandates.
  • They should continue to work towards increasing the pan-Canadian carbon price.
  • Governments should complement carbon pricing with flexible performance standards and broad funding for research and development.

The report was released days after the federal government told provinces that if they didn’t create their own carbon tax or cap-and-trade by 2018, it would impose its own rates. The tax will start at $7.60 per ton of CO2 and rise to $38 per ton by 2022. Provinces can still elect to forgo the tax, as long as they slash emissions by an equivalent amount.

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