By Kate McGowan and Laura PoulinSource The Globe and Mail title Canada to emit carbon dioxide equivalent of 1.8 billion cars by 2030Source The New York Times article Article Posted April 30, 2020 15:07:47A new report from the Canadian Carbon Pollution Reduction Coalition (CCPRC) says emissions from cars and other vehicles will increase by roughly one billion tonnes by 2030, a level that would be the equivalent of the world entering a new economic boom.
The report, released Monday, estimates that, by 2030 the world will be exporting about a third of its total carbon dioxide emissions to countries outside of the EU and the United States.
The CCCPRP’s executive director, Stephen O’Brien, said the figures are a result of the carbon tax introduced in Quebec and Ontario in the past year, which took carbon dioxide from cars as well as power plants and other industrial processes, and made them tax-free.
O’Brian said he was surprised to see Canada’s emissions, which are already among the lowest in the world, increase by 1.7 billion tonnes in just a year.
O’Brien said it was hard to see how a tax on cars and trucks, or other vehicles, could bring Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions down.
The government is already facing criticism that the tax has failed to keep pace with demand for cars, O’Briensons chief of staff, Mike Zagoria, said in an interview.
Zagoria said the carbon levy is not only costly but has also had an impact on the business sector, which has not yet been taxed.
“We are not seeing the same growth in the sectors that are the fastest growing in terms of employment, in terms for the economy as a whole, in the sector that are doing the most jobs and are therefore the most sensitive to this,” he said.
“That is what we need to address, that is why we need a carbon levy.”
A few years ago, Oles Zagorji, an economist with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, predicted that emissions from other sectors would rise at an annual rate of 6 per cent.
Oles Zegorji said it is hard to predict when emissions from automobiles, power plants, factories and other large industrial processes will be brought down.
The carbon levy, which was introduced in June 2018, aims to raise the cost of emissions to a level equivalent to the price of carbon that would have been levied in Ontario in 2018, but not yet in Quebec.
Oles Oleszegi, a senior policy analyst with the CCCP, said Oles’ projections are optimistic.
“If we get the carbon price to the point where that is the case, the emissions that are going to increase in other sectors are not going to be quite as high as they are now,” Oles said.
But Oles, who has previously predicted that the carbon taxes in Ontario and Quebec would raise the price on gas, said Canada needs to consider the implications of the new carbon price, which could lead to a drop in emissions from industrial processes.
“I think the biggest impact will be in the industrial sector.
The carbon price will be a deterrent to investment in the next 10 to 15 years,” he added.”
What we really need to consider is, how will this change the trajectory of industrial production and employment, and how will we adapt to this as a country.”
Carbon taxes have been in place in Canada since 1991, and have been applied to all cars sold in the province, with exemptions for the purchase of hybrid and electric vehicles, trailers and motorcycles, as well a tax credit for the construction industry.
In a statement, Premier Kathleen Wynne said the province has a number of carbon taxes, including a provincial sales tax on diesel vehicles and a tax for electricity generated from hydroelectric dams.
She said Ontario will continue to introduce carbon taxes on fuel vehicles and light vehicles in the coming years.
“Carbon pricing is a policy that provides relief for hard-working Ontarians and their families,” Wynne said.
“Ontario will continue working to bring our economy and our climate to a sustainable position.
We are confident we will continue the successful work of carbon pricing.”