Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says Canada is issuing a challenge to the rest of the world to expand the use of carbon pricing in the fight against greenhouse gas emissions.

Guilbeault is hosting an event at the United Nations COP27 climate talks in Egypt today hoping to triple carbon pricing coverage from 20 per cent of global emissions today, to 60 per cent in eight years.

He says eight other countries and the European Commission are already on board but most already have carbon pricing in place or have a program planned.

Canada's carbon pricing system is a mix of federal and provincial policies that together cover more than 80 per cent of Canada's total emissions, though at varying costs per tonne.

The idea is similar to the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which Canada launched with the U.K. at COP23 in 2017 to push for ending the use of coal as a source of electricity.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau first discussed expanding carbon pricing globally at the climate talks last year in Glasgow, but in the year since the total emissions covered by a carbon price has not changed.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 15, 2022.

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Canada's federal and provincial govts shield large emitters from significant carbon costs. The federal backstop Output-Based Pricing System (OBPS) for large industrial emitters does not apply to large emitters in Alberta. Under Alberta's Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation (TIER), O&G companies pay pennies on the dollar in carbon costs.
Large industrial emitters, including in AB's oilsands, effectively pay a fraction of consumer rates.

The purpose of the OBPS and its provincial counterparts is not to expose heavy emitters to the carbon price, but to shield them from it. Federal and provincial carbon pricing systems do not impair their profits — or reduce their emissions.

"Biggest industrial emitters don't pay fair share for pollution, critics say" (National Observer, April 14th 2022)

"Canada's biggest emitters are paying the lowest carbon tax rate" (Corporate Knights, January 17, 2022)
"Oil and gas producers pay among the lowest average carbon costs of any sector…