Over 50 citizens from across Canada will lobby for a liveable world on Parliament Hill October 13-16. This year’s lobbying of elected officials by Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada (CCL) volunteers takes on a heightened sense of urgency. The United Nations has just warned that we have only 12 years to keep the warming of the planet between 1.5C and 2C and thus prevent a climate change catastrophe.
Lobbying for a Liveable World
When we lobby, all of our volunteers use the following “Leave Behind” document. It provides our background information and the specific asks we are making of Parliament. It forms the basis of the discussions we have with Parliamentarians. It is the document we leave behind at the end of the session.
The scientific proof of the threat of climate change is incontrovertible and cannot be dismissed. We must cut emissions. Almost all economists agree that putting a price on carbon pollution is the most economically efficient way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Citizens’ Climate Lobby advocates for a specific form of carbon pricing called carbon fee and dividend, an incrementally rising price on carbon pollution where 100% of the fees collected are returned to Canadians by cheque. It is championed by Canadians for Clean Prosperity and has been specifically endorsed by the PostMedia Editorial board.
Carbon fee and dividend is a policy where all sides win. It will appeal to a broad spectrum of Canadians, whether they support small government, free markets, strong environmental policy, or expanded government benefits. Thus, carbon fee and dividend has built-in policy persistence.
In their historic March 2018 report, Perspectives on Climate Change Action in Canada—A Collaborative Report from Auditors General, Canada’s Auditors General concluded that Canada is not on track to meet its greenhouse gas emission targets.
Transforming the economy will not happen overnight. Julie Gelfand, Canada’s Environment Commissioner, said that Canada needs time to “bend the curve”. Importantly, carbon pricing is projected to account for more than half of Canada’s prospective total emissions reductions through 2022. The Pembina Institute calls carbon pricing an essential component of a cost-effective climate plan. According to the World Bank Carbon Pricing Dashboard, 25 percent of the world’s nations, including China, are already pricing carbon.
We recommend the following going forward:
- That the carbon fee be applied upstream, at the wellhead, coal mine, or point of entry into the economy; that the policy cover all GHG emissions, and include best practices for estimating fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas operations.
- That the national carbon price continues to rise past 2022, with the objective of Canada exceeding its Paris targets and becoming a world leader in tackling the climate crisis and in the clean technology industry.
- That the Federal government work with provinces and territories to ensure their carbon pricing policies keep pace with the rising federal minimum carbon price without imposing any additional burden on low to middle-income Canadians. In this regard, the federal government should lead by example, implementing a revenue-neutral fee and dividend system as its backstop carbon pricing policy.
- That Canada’s Output-Based Carbon Pricing be temporary and be replaced with Border Carbon Adjustments to level the playing field for emissions-intensive trade-exposed domestic industries that compete in international jurisdictions without a comparable carbon price.
- That the Federal government end financial subsidies to fossil fuel companies, as promised in the 2015 election, thereby ensuring that consistent policy is applied to the process of combating climate change.
CCL is grateful for your service to Canada, and for your recognition that the climate crisis is inextricably linked with the many other problems facing societies and governments. This is a race against time. Effective carbon pricing policy will help secure the future of Canada and all Canadians.
The leave-behind document is a Citizens’ Climate Lobby Canada publication.