You may have heard through various media outlets that a federally mandated carbon pricing system is coming up. January 1, 2018 will mark the beginning of our first national carbon pricing plan. Dubbed the Pan-Canadian Framework this will be implemented as a minimum action requirement in an effort to reduce our carbon footprint.
Now as a Manitoban you’ve also likely been barraged by messages of “our plan is better“! It’ll cost you less, and it’ll do more! My complaint has always been that there’s no clear definition of what will be done differently to ensure a cheaper way to reduce emissions by a greater amount. So I went to Sustainable Building Manitoba’s session on the differences. Let me tell you something. There’s a difference.
To start things off let’s provide a bit of context! Manitoba produces very green energy. PEI is the only province able to generate electricity with less emissions (page 14). Good job Manitoba! But we can do better. While Manitoba would like to see recognition for that, it’s not incorporated into why Manitoba thinks its own plan is better.
The federal plan would like to implement $10/ metric tonne in January 2018 and increase that by $10/year until it caps out at $50/tonne in 2022. The thought is that as companies reduce their carbon footprint under this tax, that the price/tonne will raise to ensure compliance continues and the result will be a more consistent revenue base.
The provincial plan will implement at $25/tonne and will stay consistent through 2022. Both plans will include a review in 2022. The thought here is that companies will be forced to reduce more footprint at an earlier time due to higher up-front costs. The added advantage to this plan is Manitoba will have more discretion as to where the average $260,000,000 per year goes.
Other considerations are cap and trade systems (like Ontario and Quebec) which would set a cap at emissions that a company can release. Once it surpasses that limit it must buy credits or trade with other companies that have used less than their cap of emissions. This system is projected to have a lower cost/tonne than the federal plan at the end of five years and even could have a lower cost per tonne than Manitoba’s plan.
The key here was mentioned by the speaker Philip Gass. The most cost effective way to reduce carbon footprint, and to reduce costs in doing so, is increasing efficiency. Build better homes, use more insulation and use better heating equipment. Come talk to Dueck Homes to figure out how you can own your home for less!