Remarks for the Leaders' Ocean Panel Discussion at COP26
Thank you all for being here today.
It’s extremely important that we have this conversation, that we encourage people as strongly as possible to look at carbon pricing as a powerful tool to transform our global economy and achieve net‑zero by 2050.
We know, we all know... we’ve known for a long time that carbon pricing is one of the most powerful ways of reducing emissions and supporting and encouraging private sector and individual citizens to make smarter choices around reducing emissions at the same time as we create innovations to move forward. But it’s hard. It has always been hard to do this in the way that... we know citizens want more action on climate but are always worried that they are going to be the ones paying for the brunt of it, and what a strong carbon price does when it’s properly designed is actually drive those price signals to the private sector, transform the economy, and support citizens in encouraging them to make better choices.
In Canada we have a price on pollution that is going to rise to $170 a tonne by at 2030 -- which makes it among the strongest in the world, and at the same time one of the most stringent in the world, covering about 75% of our emissions. Those are two metrics that we need to start looking at around the world.
But the reality is, there are many different ways of putting a price on pollution in different sectors. In Canada, we know, from one province to the other there have been different approaches, and what matters is to establish a principle of stringency and equity that makes sure that everyone is pricing at the same level. And that’s why one of the things I think we all know needs to come out of COP is a clearer call to create a global standard around putting a price on pollution. Not only will that encourage innovation -- give that clear price signal to the private sector that making the right capital investments to transform to lower emissions makes sense -- but it also ensures that those who are leading on pricing pollution don’t get unfairly penalized.
We’ve had to bring in particular mechanisms to make sure that we’re not unfairly penalizing particularly trade-exposed industries, but we’d love to not have to do that, and the more countries come on board with carbon pricing, the more we make sure that everyone around the world gets to do their part and push things in the right direction.
The other piece of it: if we recognize right now that only about 20% of global emissions are covered by a price on pollution, we should be ambitious and say, as of right here today, that we want to triple that – 60% of global emissions should be covered by a price on pollution in 2030.
We are calling on the entire planet, governments around the world, to triple the coverage of a price on pollution and to ensure that 60% of emissions worldwide are captured by a carbon pricing system. It’s an ideal, an ambitious goal, but it’s a goal that can be achieved.
We know it, leaders know it, scientists know it, and the private sector knows it; that putting a price on pollution is the most efficient and powerful way to keep 1.5 alive. That’s the call collectively we’re making today, and I’m so pleased that so many people have pledged themselves to be part of it.
I would be remiss not to give a shout out to our environment minister Steven Guilbeault who is here today. We have a number of partners, from environment ministers, from subnational governments; one of our premiers Andrew Fury is here, but I also want to recognize the hard work of our previous environment ministers including Catherine McKenna and Jonathan Wilkinson, who is now our minister of natural resources, who will deeply be involved in energy.
Canada is committed to leading on this, and we’re so glad there are so many others stepping up to be part of it.
Thank you very much.