Canada won't feel immediate impact from Paris climate agreement: experts

Canadians may not notice immediate effects from an international agreement on climate change.

But experts say the deal agreed to by 200 world leaders pushes the country further down a path that will profoundly change how people heat their homes, earn their livings and get from one place to another.

See Full Article

"I think we're talking about transforming the Canadian economy," Erin Flanagan of the clean-energy think tank Pembina Institute said Monday.

"It requires changes to our mobility, our consumption, our fundamental economics around oil and gas."

The Paris conference is important mostly because it's the first time that many countries have agreed that climate is a global issue, said Mark Jaccard, an energy economist at Simon Fraser University.

"Almost all international players said we are part of the solution now," he said. "We never had that."

Even though reductions announced by various countries won't limit a rise in temperature to the agreed-on 2 C, it's a start, said Jaccard.

"It puts in place hope for the future."

For Canadians wondering how much saving the planet is going to cost them, answers are more likely to emerge from an upcoming meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers, which he has promised within the next 90 days.

"What really matters for the people in their living room is what we do in terms of policy development when we get back from Paris," said Chris Ragan of the Ecofiscal Commission, an independent group of economists and business representatives.

While items such as a price on carbon draw the biggest headlines, Ottawa could just as easily turn to regulatory measures that don't hit taxpayers directly, Jaccard said. California has successfully used low-carbon fuel standards to lower its greenhouse gas emissions.

"You can design regulations that are quite economically efficient and give incentives for innovation."

Industry says it's ready.

"Within Canada, we are committed to improving our performance," said Tim McMillan, president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. "We're investing in technology to do things more efficiently."

Just as long as everyone plays along, McMillan added.

"This is a global challenge and if this (agreement) has the strength to bring other countries along to improve their performance, it'll be successful."

The agreement contains a promise to monitor the climate performance of each signatory country every five years.

Some provinces are likely going to have to do more than others, said Flanagan, depending on how hard and how expensive it is for them to reduce emissions.

"It's appropriate for some provinces to do more (and) for the question of burden-sharing to be centred around where can we find the cheapest reductions. Some provinces will take the lead on electricity. Some will take the lead on transportation. Some will take the lead on oil and gas."

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said Albertans will start to see the implications on their pocketbooks in the province's next budget. Over the next three months, consultations are to be held on everything from carbon tax rebates to helping coal mining towns shift their economies.

"We will be having conversations with Albertans on what those rebates look like and how they are delivered, adjustments for small business, municipalities and First Nations," she said. "We will be having lots of conversations with industry on this topic of performance standards."



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Deaths of doctors, nurses highlight virus risks they run

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Air raid sirens sounded across China and flags flew at half staff in a tribute Saturday to victims of the coronavirus pandemic including the health care "martyrs" who have died while fighting to save others. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Trump fires watchdog who handled whistleblower complaint that triggered impeachment

    World News CBC News
    U.S. President Donald Trump has fired the intelligence watchdog who handled the complaint that triggered his impeachment. Trump informed the Senate intelligence committee Friday of his decision to fire Michael Atkinson, according to a letter obtained by The Associated Press. Source
  • Another member of fire panel resigns, criticizes PG&E plan

    World News CTV News
    BERKELEY, CALIF. -- The former chief financial officer for a Northern California city destroyed in a 2018 wildfire caused by Pacific Gas & Electric equipment is trying to upend the utility's plan for getting out of bankruptcy because she believes the company is shortchanging the people devastated by its misconduct. Source
  • Alberta health minister used confidential information to call protesting doctors

    Canada News CBC News
    When Dr. John Julyan-Gudgeon went to a hospital event to protest health-care cuts, he didn't expect it to lead to an after-hours phone call on his personal cellphone from the health minister. But that's exactly what happened. The doctor attended a provincial funding announcement at the Red Deer Regional Hospital on Feb. Source
  • Judge demands FBI provide new details about its surveillance

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The chief judge of a secretive national security court demanded Friday that the FBI provide him with details about some of its investigations after the Justice Department inspector general identified problems with more than two dozen wiretap applications. Source
  • Major credit card companies raise tap limit to $250 to help cut spread of COVID-19

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Major credit card companies have increased their tap limit to $250 to help customers who want to make less physical contact while shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. MasterCard and Visa raised the tap limits from $100 to $250 and the Retail Council of Canada is hoping that Interac will soon follow. Source
  • 'Always new expenses': Lawsuits filed as anniversary of Broncos bus crash nears

    Canada News CBC News
    It's been almost two years since the deadly Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan and with the solemn anniversary comes a closing legal window that has seen several lawsuits filed in court. Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured after a transport truck barrelled through a stop sign and into the path of the bus carrying the junior hockey team on April 6, 2018. Source
  • Ontario premier slams Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of N95 masks to Canada

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario Premier Doug Ford has slammed United States President Donald Trump's decision to cease exports of manufacturing giant 3M's N95 face masks to Canada. "I just can't stress how disappointed I am at President Trump for making this decision," Ford said at Queen’s Park on Friday. Source
  • Relatives of the Kennedy family reported missing after canoe ride in Maryland

    World News CTV News
    Authorities were searching Friday for the daughter and a grandson of former Maryland Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend after a canoe they were paddling in the Chesapeake Bay didn't return to shore. Gov. Larry Hogan identified the missing relatives as Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and McKean's 8-year-old son, Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean. Source