The government of the largest province of Canada on Thursday will announce its plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the Minister of the Environment of Ontario said it will show that combating climate change does not require a carbon tax.
Environment Minister Rod Phillips releases the Ford government's climate change plan in 1 hour. ET during a press conference at the Reserve in Nobleton, north of Toronto.
The plan will include carbon targets in Ontario, but it will not include a carbon tax, Phillips told CBC News.
"Obviously [climate change] is an important priority, ”said Phillips.
“This is what we all recognized, it needs to be addressed,” he said, criticizing what he called the “dogmatic belief” that the carbon tax is the only way to combat climate change.
When asked how a province could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without becoming a carbon price, Phillips answered with his own questions.
“I returned the question to all proponents of carbon taxation: how can they focus on just one solution when we are dealing with something complicated?” He said. “Are they dedicated to carbon tax or are they dedicated to actual action on climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions?”
The Ford government is introducing its climate change strategy against the backdrop of its bitter struggle with the Trudeau government for carbon pricing. Ford released the last shot on Wednesday, accusing a planned federal carbon tax for General Motors plan to close its assembly plant in Oshawa, although GM announced at the same time that it intends to close four plants in the United States.
Ontario is currently joining Saskatchewan in a legal battle against the transition to the introduction of a federal pricing scheme for lands in provinces that do not have their own. Ottawa shoots back at the Ford government and sends $ 420 million from its low carbon resource savings fund directly to cities, hospitals, universities, schools and businesses to help improve efficiency programs and other emission reduction measures.
One of Ford’s first steps as prime minister was to abandon the previous liberal government climate change plan, which was built under a restriction and trade program, forcing companies to pay for permits for GHG emissions. Ford actively opposed the count and trade, described it as a carbon tax and called it a “worst tax”.
Decision Made in Ontario
Specific emission reduction targets in today's plan will be critical, says Ontario climate critic in the province of Ontario, Peter Tabuns.
“Will there be goals that will actually protect people from dangerous climate change?” This is a critical thing. [the plan] it does not have that, then the rest is not worth watching, ”said Tabuns in an interview this week.
"If a [Phillips] does not have a carbon price at all, but it shows real projects, real policies that will reduce emissions, and it can show how they will be reduced, and it shows how they will be paid, then this may well be plausible, ”said Tabuns,
But he added that he was “deeply skeptical,” which will be the case with the Ford government. “They may be interested in engaging in some public relations, some of them are involved in this issue, but they don’t cope with it.”
PCs promised during the election campaign to create an emission reduction fund, offering public money to companies that come up with innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas production. This is a signal that the plan may borrow from the model currently used by the conservative Australian government – a plan that has been criticized for its inability to reduce emissions in the country.
According to Phillips, he considers jurisdiction throughout the world, including Australia, when developing a plan.
“The situation in Ontario is very different from the situation in Alberta or the situation in New Brunswick, because our power sector and our network are almost 100 percent green,” said Phillips. "That's why the decision made in Ontario makes sense."
Ontario has already reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent from 2005 levels, largely due to the decommissioning of all coal mines, but also due to a drop in production in the province since that date.
A report released Tuesday by the United Nations Environmental Protection Department says that global greenhouse gas emissions continue to grow and that by 2030, emissions should decrease by 55 percent compared to 2017 levels in order to prevent global average temperatures from rising more than than 1.5 degrees.