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

  • A second Alberta man told to remove pro-oil and gas shirt during Parliament tour

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- For the second time this month, a Calgary man was told to remove his “I love Canadian oil and gas” shirt while visiting Ottawa’s Parliament. Chris Wollin said a security officer told him that he couldn’t wear his sweatshirt, which displayed his support for the oil and gas industry, because the Senate prohibits political messages in the building. Source
  • University of Victoria opens counselling services after deadly bus crash kills two students

    Canada News CTV News
    VICTORIA -- University of Victoria students are grappling with the sudden deaths of two of their peers in a bus crash Friday evening en route to a marine research centre. Forty-five students and two teaching assistants were aboard the bus to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre when it went off a gravel road and down an embankment about 40 kilometres from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, according to a statement from the university. Source
  • Federal party leaders address gun violence after weekend shooting near Toronto

    Canada News CBC News
    After what police called an "ambush-style" shooting in Mississauga, Ont., killed a teenager and wounded five other people, federal party leaders were quick to offer condolences Sunday, but had little in the way of new ideas to address gun violence in Canada's cities. Source
  • Forecasters warn of U.S. coast rip currents caused by Humberto

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- Beachgoers on the southeastern U.S. coast should be wary of potentially dangerous rip currents caused by Tropical Storm Humberto, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday. On Sunday evening, Humberto was 170 miles (270 kilometres) east-northeast of Cape Canaveral, Florida, and moving north at 6 mph (9 kph). Source
  • Victoria university opens counselling services after deadly bus crash kills 2 students

    Canada News CBC News
    University of Victoria students are grappling with the sudden deaths of two of their peers in a bus crash Friday evening en route to a marine research centre. Forty-five students and two teaching assistants were aboard the bus to Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre when it went off a gravel road and down an embankment about 40 kilometres from Port Alberni on Vancouver Island, according to a statement from the university. Source
  • Saskatoon Heritage Society seeks city council help to revive part of historic Capitol movie theatre

    Canada News CBC News
    The Saskatoon Heritage Society is looking for city council's support in honouring a unique part of the city's past. The group wants to restore and publicly display artifacts from the Capitol movie theatre. For 50 years, the building reigned as the city's grand movie palace and doubled as a public gathering place until its bitterly-opposed demolition in 1979. Source
  • Church of Scotland sues for share of Viking treasure trove

    World News CTV News
    The Church of Scotland is suing a man for a share of a US$2.5 million Viking treasure trove he discovered with a metal detector on church land in 2014. Retired businessman and detectorist Derek McLennan uncovered the 10th-century hoard in a field in the Dumfries and Galloway region of western Scotland. Source
  • Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promises a 'universal tax credit' if elected

    Canada News CBC News
    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled a new tax cut plan Sunday that he says will save taxpayers hundreds of dollars a year, a key plank of the Tory platform to make life more affordable. Scheer said, if elected, a Conservative government would cut the tax rate on income under $47,630 to 13.75 per cent from 15 per cent. Source
  • Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer promises tax cut to save average taxpayer hundreds of dollars

    Canada News CBC News
    Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer unveiled a new tax cut plan Sunday that he says will save taxpayers hundreds of dollars a year, a key plank of the Tory platform to make life more affordable. Scheer said, if elected, a Conservative government would cut the tax rate on income under $47,630 to 13.75 per cent from 15 per cent. Source
  • U.S. Democratic presidential candidates call for Kavanaugh's impeachment

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- At least three Democratic presidential candidates are calling for the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in the face of a new, uninvestigated, allegation of sexual impropriety when he was in college. Source