Trudeau unveils Canada's carbon price plan in 2018

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre) will impose a national minimum carbon price in 2018 to meet its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (centre) will impose a national minimum carbon price in 2018 to meet its commitment to the Paris climate agreement.PHOTO: REUTERS

OTTAWA (AFP) - Canada will impose a national minimum carbon price in 2018, an effective tax, to meet the landmark Paris commitment on climate change, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Monday.

"All Canadian jurisdictions will put a price on carbon pollution by 2018...To get there, the government will set a floor price for carbon pollution," he announced in parliament.

Each province will have a choice in how they implement the pricing, he added, for example, by imposing a carbon tax or adopting a cap-and-trade system.

The federal government, Trudeau said, is proposing a minimum price of Can$10 (S$10.40) per tonne of carbon pollution in 2018.

The minimum price would rise by Can$10 each year to a maximum of Can$50 per tonne in 2022.

Canada's ratification of the Paris accord is expected to come later this week, after the debate in parliament.

Canada accounts for 1.95 per cent of global emissions. The country's carbon emissions linked to global warming have stabilised at just over 700 million tonnes per year, an independent parliamentary watchdog said in April.

That's 208 million tonnes short of Trudeau's commitment at the climate summit in Paris last December, which was to reduce emissions by 30 per cent compared with 2005 levels, by 2030.

Trudeau's government has reached out to Canada's 13 provinces and territories, which share responsibility for the environment with Ottawa, to hammer out a national climate strategy.

But each has insisted they would tailor plans for their respective regions, which have vastly different economic circumstances and goals.

Some have already imposed a carbon tax, while others have joined a fledgling continental cap-and-trade system with the US state of California.