Carbon-Pricing Exemptions Are the Wrong Way to Keep Energy Affordable | National Newswatch
October 17, 2023 | The federal government is under pressure to carve out exemptions to its carbon pricing system, particularly for rural home-heating fuel in Atlantic Canada. Keeping essentials like energy affordable is a serious concern, but carbon-pricing exemptions are the wrong solution.
The op-ed by Chris Ragan and Dale Beugin addresses the challenges of rising energy prices and the troubles surrounding exemptions. They contend that carbon pricing is Canada's primary mechanism to reduce emissions and provides incentives for businesses and households to adopt cleaner energy sources and improve energy efficiency. The article cautions against implementing exemptions, which would undermine incentives to reduce emissions, increase costs, and set a precedent for changing carbon pricing systems in response to economic disruptions.
The article concludes by suggesting that, instead of exemptions, governments could address cost-of-living issues by providing temporary rebates to low-income households. This approach would ensure affordability without compromising the effectiveness of the carbon pricing system. Ragan emphasizes the urgency of accelerating Canada's transition to clean energy, particularly due to the growing impact of climate change on Canadians. The more certainty there is regarding the policies on carbon price and its future path, the more effective the carbon price will be at driving the long-term low-carbon investments required for reducing emissions.