Govt Accepts Alberta’s Carbon Plan
The government of Canada said December 6 it had accepted Alberta’s carbon pricing plan for heavy greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters.
Under the Alberta plan – the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (Tier) Regulation – heavy emitters of GHG will be levied a fee of C$30 (US$22.62)/metric ton of emissions from industrial sectors, including oil and gas, electricity, cement manufacturing and agriculture. The provincial levy, like the federal carbon pricing plan, will take effect January 1, 2020.
“I’m pleased that our made-in-Alberta Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (Tier) regulation has been accepted under the federal Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act, ensuring that the federal carbon pricing system does not apply to Alberta’s large industries in 2020,” Alberta’s environment and parks minister, Jason Nixon, said in a statement. “When we engaged with industry on Tier in summer 2019, we heard loud and clear that they want to be regulated by the province – not by Ottawa.”
The price under the federal programme starts at C$30/mt in 2020 and rises to C$40/mt in 2021 and to C$50/mt in 2022. Alberta’s Tier programme will be subject to annual reviews to ensure that it continues to comply with the federal benchmark, the federal environment and climate change ministry said.
“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.
The federal price on pollution has two components: a fuel charge across the economy and a pricing system for heavy industrial sectors that face international competition. Since the new government in Alberta under premier Jason Kenney scrapped the province’s carbon tax earlier this year – fulfilling an election campaign promise – the province’s consumers will still be subject to the federal fuel charge – also at C$30/mt and also set to take effect on January 1, 2020.
All direct proceeds of that fuel charge, the federal environment ministry said, would be returned to Albertans, largely through climate action incentive payments, and most families, it said, would receive more back than they see in costs from the carbon levy.