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Policy recommendation

Fossil fuels are driving affordability crisis

A joint statement calling for smart climate policy as the answer

Published on 

There have been many attacks on Canada’s carbon pricing system, a cornerstone climate policy. Some recent attacks have blamed it for increases in the cost of living.

But addressing affordability should not come at the expense of Canada's commitment to climate action. In fact, these two challenges can — and must — be addressed together.

Carbon pricing is an efficient way to reduce emissions and — in most cases — puts more money into people’s pockets, thanks to rebates (in provinces where the federal backstop applies). Weakening or dismantling carbon pricing is a short-sighted, irresponsible and ineffective approach to addressing household energy affordability issues.

Équiterre signed this joint statement, in collaboration with several other environmental organizations, which was sent to members of the government in november 2023.

We call on elected officials at all levels of government to work together constructively to address the climate emergency and affordability challenges in tandem, emphasizing mutually beneficial solutions. This requires:

  1. Providing support to low-income families struggling with energy costs through free heat pumps and turnkey retrofits, and facilitating affordable access to energy efficiency, heat pumps and home electrification for all households.
  2. Rejecting further rollbacks of environmental regulations and instead building on existing progress to expedite decarbonization and advance climate justice, in line with the principle of continuous improvement and the United Nations climate action acceleration agenda.
  3. Maintaining a consistent, economy-wide price on pollution without additional loopholes or exemptions and ensuring that large emitters pay their fair share to drive down industry emissions. Carbon pricing is a cost-effective tool that complements other measures to drive investments required for emissions reduction.
  4. Countering the dissemination of misinformation and politicization of climate policy and educating people in Canada about the urgency of climate action, as well as the opportunities and benefits of the growing zero-emission economy.
  5. Addressing the emissions reduction gap identified by Canada’s environment commissioner, prioritizing sectors with the largest emissions, and accelerating implementation of climate regulations and programs.
  6. Implementing a windfall profit tax on the fossil fuel industry, to help finance climate solutions and make them more affordable.

To view the complete joint statement

  • Fossil fuels are driving affordability crisis; smart climate policy is the answer

    See document


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Director, Government Relations