Politics

Ottawa claims price on carbon could cut 90 million tonnes of emissions by 2022

An Environment Canada analysis says the federal government's carbon pricing plan could eliminate up to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022.

Federal government provides first specific estimate on impact of carbon price plan

Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, centre, arrives to make an announcement in Vancouver, Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)

An Environment Canada analysis says the federal government's carbon pricing plan could eliminate up to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022.

That's roughly equivalent to taking more than 20 million cars off the road, and accounts for about 12 per cent of the total amount of what Canada emitted in 2016.

The report marks the first time Ottawa has provided a specific estimate of the impact of its $50-per-tonne carbon price, despite months of demands from the Conservatives that it show what the measure would do to lower emissions.

Using models of what carbon pricing does to human behaviour and economic growth, the analysis also projects economic growth of about two per cent a year, with or without carbon pricing.

All provinces but Saskatchewan are signatories to the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, which requires them to have a minimum $20-per-tonne price on carbon by the start of next year, increasing to $50 by 2022.

Canada also plans regulations to limit methane in the fossil fuel industry, make buildings and homes more efficient, introduce cleaner fuels and electric cars and phasing out coal as a source of electricity.

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna discusses the federal government's carbon pricing plan following Environment Canada's analysis that estimates the plan could eliminate up to 90 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2022. 9:21