Views on cap-and-trade are mixed, and some say it doesn't go far enough
Published Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:16PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, October 24, 2018 10:41PM ADT
A price on pollution will cost everyone more money, although how you pay – and how much -- depends on where you live.
In Nova Scotia -- the government has opted for a cap-and-trade system that will increase gas prices and power rates.
While some are against the carbon tax, some are wondering if it goes far enough.
Nova Scotia’s cap & trade program goes into effect Jan. 1, 2019. That means large carbon emitters will need to reduce or purchase carbon credits.
Meghan McMorris is with the Ecology Action Centre. She says the program is a good start, but focuses on big polluters.
“Think about how many of us drove to work today, right in our cars, but we can't just say to people, well stop driving or drive an electric vehicle,” McMorris said. “We have to make sure we have the infrastructure and other things supporting people to make this transition to a low-carbon and carbon neutral society.”
The province estimates power rates will increase one per cent over the next four years.
The utility says rates are currently locked in, but they aren’t sure what impact the program will have on operations.
“Future rates are yet to be determined, so this would be one factor that would go into the determination of rates past 2019,” said Nova Scotia Power spokeswoman Tiffany Chase.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says the system is going to make it difficult and more expensive for Nova Scotians.
“We don't know what the up-front costs are going to be and Nova Scotians aren’t going to be able to see those costs directly on their bills because they’re going to come as the result of trickling down from businesses that are going to have to raise their prices,” said Paige MacPherson, Atlantic Directror of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation.
Most Haligonians say they don't mind a small increase if it helps fight climate change.
“I guess if it benefits the environment it's a small price to pay,” said Victoria Boucher
Gavin Hamilton is a hunter and a fisherman and he supports it.
“Anything to save that environment and save my hobby is good,” he said.
It’s estimated government will collect $30 million a year from the cap-and-trade system, which they say will go back into green initiatives.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation has actually started a petition, urging the Nova Scotia Government to scrap the cap and trade program and stand up to the federal government. They say the province has already met the 2030 emissions target and already pay some of the highest taxes in Canada.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Natasha Pace.