OTTAWA, October 3, 2016 — Following is a statement from Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) President Ron Bonnett in reaction to the announcement today by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the Government of Canada will set a minimum federal price on carbon of $10 a tonne in 2018; which will rise by $10 a tonne until reaching $50 in 2022 at which time the outcomes will be assessed. The provinces will retain control of how to use the revenues generated, whether a cap and trade or a carbon tax approach is used, and will have until 2018 to implement their policy.
“Setting a price on carbon as announced by the Government of Canada today will pose both challenges and opportunities for Canadian agricultural producers. International competitiveness is a major concern, as prices for many agricultural commodities are set globally and some of Canada’s largest competitors have no plans to implement carbon pricing, putting Canadian agricultural exports at a competitive disadvantage. Farmers will require special consideration as the carbon pricing regulations take effect, due to the additional expenses they will incur.
The Canadian agriculture industry has already made impressive gains in improving environmental outcomes and is poised to continue to grow sustainably as it supports Canada’s economy and rural communities. Ensuring that producers can meet higher production levels sustainably is paramount as the world is faced with feeding 9 billion people by 2050 while also dealing with the impacts of climate change. Therefore, any carbon pricing policy must be developed in close consultation with agricultural producers to address the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities available.
Provided that programs are properly coordinated and implemented, producers could benefit from participating in offset protocols that value carbon sequestration and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, through beneficial management practices, innovative technologies and improved efficiency.
As CFA stated in its recent recommendations for the upcoming federal budget, investing in agricultural research and clean technology would better position the farm sector to reach climate mitigation objectives. Such investments could also address the high capital costs of using modern clean technology on farms.
CFA Director of Communications
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