Canada to have carbon-cutting measures beyond pricing: minister

Sun Oct 9, 2016 4:36pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's federal government and its provinces have agreed they need emissions-cutting measures beyond the minimum price on carbon unveiled last week, and the government will announce those measures in the fall, a senior minister said on Sunday.

Speaking on the CTV broadcaster's "Question Period" politics talk show, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the measures may include regulating energy efficiency in housing.

Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took power last November promising to do more to protect the environment, and last Wednesday Parliament ratified the Paris agreement to curb climate-warming emissions.

But Canada's 10 provinces, which enjoy significant jurisdiction over the environment, have been wary of Ottawa's intentions and have said they should be allowed to cut emissions their own way.

An announcement by Trudeau last Monday of carbon pricing prompted one energy-producing province to threaten legal action and another to demand approval of an oil pipeline in return.

In Montreal on the same day, McKenna met provincial counterparts to work on a carbon pricing deal, and three ministers left early in a sign of protest.

But there was consensus at the meeting with regard to measures beyond carbon pricing, McKenna said on Sunday.

"There were these working groups that met, and in Montreal this past week ... everyone agreed that we needed to take other measures," she said.

McKenna said the government is looking at how it can make sure houses are being built in energy efficient ways. The plans may include investing in social housing and retrofitting old buildings, she said.   Continued...

Canada's Environment Minister Catherine McKenna speaks during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Canada, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie