Carbon pricing in Manitoba essential, says new coalition

WINNIPEG—A new coalition, the Manitoba Carbon Pricing Coalition, is urging the provincial government to introduce a Manitoba carbon price in 2018. The Manitoba Carbon Pricing Coalition, comprised of a group of diverse local organizations, encourages the province to commit to a carbon price. While members of the coalition have different recommendations for how to best structure a carbon pricing policy, we all agree that putting a price on carbon is essential.

Putting a price on carbon pollution is an necessary part of a comprehensive approach to combating the devastating impacts of climate change. And Manitoba must play its part. Manitoba has yet to sign onto the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change. The federal framework’s carbon pricing system is well-defined, based in research, based on extensive consultation, and buy-in from most jurisdictions across the country.

“The costs of the impacts of carbon pollution are real and increasing. Putting a price on carbon pollution provides incentive for us to avoid those costs while also providing revenue to help us develop alternatives,” said Curt Hull, program manager at Climate Change Connection.

“86% of Canada’s population is already subject to carbon pricing (including citizens in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec). Next year that goes to 100% under the federal minimum plan. It would be supremely unfair to others if Manitoba were to remain exempt,” said Beth McKechnie, program coordinator at Green Action Centre.

“Evidence from British Columbia and elsewhere shows that provincial carbon pricing is an effective and efficient approach that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and promotes low-carbon development. Manitoba can learn from the successes and challenges of these experiences in developing its provincial plan,” said Daniella Echeverria, project manager at International Institute for Sustainable Development.

“The costs of climate change will invariably be passed on to citizens. We can make modest adjustments today or deal with potentially catastrophic costs down the road. Let’s keep costs low by dealing with the problem before it gets out of hand,” said James Magnus-Johnston, Co-chair of Transition Winnipeg.

“The astronomical costs associated with climate change are already born by governments in response to extreme weather events. In Manitoba this will mean increased flooding and devastating community dislocations such as the experience of Lake St. Martin First Nation. A carbon price accompanied by tax credits for low income people is a key,” said Molly McCracken, Director of Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, Manitoba.

“A carbon price is a key action required to achieve 1.5 degrees Celsius or less of global warming. We have less than three years to have a reasonable shot at this target. Now is the time for action,” said Nathan Laser, campaigns coordinator with Manitoba Energy Justice Coalition.

“The University of Winnipeg remains committed to climate action and to fulfilling its role in facilitating the research required to evidence-based policies,” said Alana Lajoie-O’Malley, Senior Advisor Research & Sustainability, UWinnipeg. “We strive to deliver leading edge climate change education and research, and we continue to work towards our own ambitious emission reduction targets. We know that putting a visible price on carbon pollution is one tool to help us get there.” UWinnipeg hosts the Prairie Climate Centre on campus, in partnership with the IISD.

Related: Behaviour change is only one aim of carbon taxes

For more information, please contact Curt Hull at 204-803-5436.

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