A panel of experts will provide recommendations to the Trudeau government on how to tackle the climate crisis.
The panel includes former prime minister Stephen Harper’s former climate change advisor, Paul Watson; former Environment Minister Peter Kent; former deputy minister for natural resources, Brad Trost; former minister of energy, James Moore; former energy minister Jim Carr; former climate and climate change minister Michael Eby; former premier, Joe Clark; former prime ministers Brian Mulroney and Jean Chrétien; and former climate commissioner John Campbell.
The government is expected to announce its carbon tax proposals on Friday.
The report is expected by the end of March, but not before months of consultations with stakeholders, experts, and business groups.
The group includes climate experts and experts in energy and other sectors.
A panel is also expected to offer recommendations on how the government should implement its climate change action plan.
The Trudeau government has made climate change a key plank of its platform for the next federal election, which is slated for 2019.
“We believe that Canada is in a position to lead the world in terms of carbon pricing, in terms with its emissions intensity, and that it can do that by establishing a carbon pricing mechanism that makes economic sense, and can work within the framework of the federal government,” Watson said in an interview.
Watson, a former head of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, said the federal carbon tax could be set to a level that would help ensure that Canadians pay a fair share.
“The idea of carbon is that carbon is not the same as pollution, and the more pollution there is, the less effective the carbon pricing is,” he said.
“And so if we can get a carbon price to work, it’s not just because it’s cheap but because it will work.
It will make our economy work.”
Watson said Canada has a lot of work to do on the climate front, particularly in terms a pricing mechanism.
“I don’t know if you could say we’re on the cusp of doing something that’s really important,” he added.
“There are so many areas we still have to work out, so it’s going to be a very challenging time.”
Watson is one of a handful of climate experts who have been invited to join the Trudeau cabinet as the new minister of science and technology.
He is also a member of the panel that will advise the government on climate policy.
Watson said it’s crucial to consider how the carbon tax is set to work.
“A lot of the time, people will look at carbon pricing as a way of doing that.
We’ve had some very successful carbon pricing mechanisms,” Watson explained.
“So we’ve had a lot to learn from them, and there’s a lot that can be done with this carbon tax mechanism.”
The carbon tax will likely cost about $2 billion per year.
Watson noted that the government has been working with industry to develop carbon pricing schemes.
He said that the federal economy is already doing some of the work to develop such carbon pricing solutions.
“You can expect that the carbon price is going to have some very specific benefits to the economy,” he explained.
Watson was a member a panel of federal scientists in January which examined how Canada’s carbon emissions could be managed under the Climate Change Act, but he said that there’s more work to be done.
“That’s really the biggest issue that we have to address in terms in this area is that we’re not able to have a fully developed carbon pricing scheme that is a credible plan to be able to do that,” he told CBC News.
“To me, that’s the biggest challenge that we need to face as a country, to really have a credible carbon pricing system that is going a plan of action to actually get the job done.”
Watson also noted that Canada has the highest per capita emissions in the world and it’s a long way from meeting its 2050 climate change target.
“It’s a very ambitious target, and we need a plan that is credible and it can actually be delivered,” Watson added.
The cabinet is expected later this week to make its recommendations to federal parliament.
A number of industry groups, including the Canada Roundtable of the North American Building Trades Union, have expressed their concerns over the Trudeau administration’s plans for climate change policy.
“They are creating a carbon policy with a number of different elements, which means that it is going toward climate change, it is not going to address the carbon budget,” said David Wainwright, executive director of the National Association of Manufacturers.
Watson noted the lack of a carbon budget for the federal climate change strategy and said that this was a problem because “the federal government is going into the future, not just looking at what the government can do in the future.” The”
This is a prime example of the fact that we don.t have a strong climate policy and we are moving toward a carbon economy.”
Watson noted the lack of a carbon budget for the federal climate change strategy and said that this was a problem because “the federal government is going into the future, not just looking at what the government can do in the future.” The