Alberta carbon regulation deemed to meet federal benchmark

Image: Joey Podlubny/JWN

Alberta’s carbon pricing system on large industrial emitters is sufficient to keep Ottawa from imposing its own federal output-based carbon pricing system on the province in 2020, environment and climate change minister Jonathan Wilkinson announced on Friday.

Alberta's Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation, introduced by Premier Jason Kenney’s government in October, maintains the current price of $30 per tonne on emissions from industrial sectors such as oil and gas, electricity, cement and agriculture.

“As in all other provinces and territories that have adopted their own price on carbon pollution, Alberta's Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system will be subject to annual reviews to ensure it remains in compliance with the federal benchmark. The benchmark price rises to $40 per tonne in 2021 and $50 per tonne in 2022,” the federal government said in a statement.

Alberta environment minister Jason Nixon issued a statement saying he is pleased with Ottawa’s decision.

“As the federal carbon price schedule rises in the coming years, our government will continue to advocate – both in court and through negotiations – for Alberta’s ability to set our own policies, in consideration of impacts on our trade-exposed industries,” Nixon said.

While Alberta is safe for now from federal carbon regulations on heavy industry, Ottawa said it will impose its economy-wide fuel charge on the province starting Jan. 1. Kenney cancelled Alberta’s economy-wide carbon tax as his government’s first actions in office in May 2019.

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