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

  • North Korea's Kim meets with South's Moon for 2nd time

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for the second time in a month on Saturday to discuss carrying out the peace commitments they reached in their first summit and Kim's potential meeting with U.S. Source
  • Trump shifts stance on Korea summit from 'off' to 'maybe'

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- "Everybody plays games," U.S. President Donald Trump declared as he suggested the potentially historic North Korean summit he had suddenly called off might be getting back on track. His sights set on a meeting that has raised hopes for a halt in North Korea's nuclear weapons development, Trump welcomed the North's conciliatory response to his Thursday letter withdrawing from the Singapore summit with Kim Jong Un. Source
  • Powerful cyclone lashes Oman and Yemen; 5 dead, 30 missing

    World News CBC News
    Cyclone Mekunu blew into the Arabian Peninsula early Saturday, drenching arid Oman and Yemen, cutting off power lines and leaving at least five people dead and more than 30 missing, officials said. Portions of Salalah, Oman's third-largest city, lost electricity as the cyclone made landfall. Source
  • Irish anti-abortion group calls vote result 'a tragedy'

    World News CTV News
    DUBLIN -- A leading anti-abortion group said Saturday that Ireland's historic abortion referendum has resulted in a "tragedy of historic proportions" in a statement that all but admits defeat, as two exit polls predict an overwhelming victory for those seeking to overturn the country's strict ban on terminations. Source
  • DND doubles financial compensation for military who lose money on moving

    Canada News CBC News
    The Department of National Defence has doubled the amount of compensation members can receive when they have to relocate, but admits it still has no way to help those who suffer "catastrophic" financial losses. Source
  • Sex, lies and video: The story behind Alexa Emerson's 'rampage of social media terrorism'

    Canada News CBC News
    First came the videos. Leland Pearl of Saskatoon got one, which was sent from a fake email address. It showed an unknown man slapping Pearl's ex-girlfriend, Alexa Emerson, who was bound at the wrists. The man said Emerson's "blood would be on his hands" if Pearl did not give up custody of his son. Source
  • Tears, cheers and defiance follow Weinstein rape charges

    World News CBC News
    From the tremendous relief and tears of complainants to the stern defence of his lawyer, reactions were swift on Friday after disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein surrendered to police in New York City to face sexual assault and rape charges. Source
  • Irish anti-abortion campaign concedes it has lost referendum

    World News CBC News
    The main group opposing the liberalization of Ireland's abortion law conceded on Saturday that it has lost Friday's referendum on the issue by an overwhelming margin, a spokesperson said. The people of Ireland "weighed it in the balance and it came down on one side. Source
  • No guarantee Ottawa can come to terms with Kinder Morgan over Trans Mountain, says Carr

    Canada News CBC News
    Canada's natural resources minister says there's no guarantee that Ottawa can reach a deal with Kinder Morgan to keep the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project alive. "There's no certainty in these things. Pipeline politics, as you know, are not straight," Jim Carr told CBC Radio's The House Friday. Source
  • Canada's coolest summer job mixes adrenaline with reconciliation

    Canada News CBC News
    Reconciliation "I know that the governments have been working very hard on reconciliation," says Allison Baetz, left. "So having this first station in the North … shows that they are working towards what they had promised us. Source