The Cost of Carbon in the US and Canada
“The cost of doing nothing is much, much higher than the cost of going forward and reducing greenhouse-gas emissions”, said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne earlier this year. Recently, Canada’s industries have been facing stricter regulations concerning their CO2 emissions. It’s becoming mandatory for companies all over Canada to work on improving their carbon footprint. Not only is this important for the environment, but non-renewable resources are also getting much more expensive. At the start of the year, the price of gasoline was raised to an additional 4.3 cents per litre, and the price of natural gas was raised by an average of $5 on the monthly bill.
In a speech to Parliament on October 3, 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that the federal government would be imposing a national price on carbon starting in 2018. He mentioned Canada’s obligations under the 2015 UN Paris Agreement (COP21) and stated, “There is no hiding from climate change.” The US has also signed this agreement, however, it is unclear how they will go about keeping their obligation to it. They have not yet decided how to enforce environmental laws and regulations, but with the election of Donald Trump as the new president, things are sure to change in one way or another.
Through all these new laws and regulations, it is obvious that significant efforts are being made to improve all areas of our society by making them more environmentally friendly. In a wide range of industries, entire production processes are being modified or replaced by more energy-efficient technologies. This change may pose a challenge for certain companies, but whoever ignores this development is taking the risk of being shut out of the market, as these avoidable CO2 emissions can cause high additional costs.