Shell, Suncor and Cenovus sign-on to petition for national carbon price
Ottawa-based think-tank Smart Prosperity has sent yet another open letter to federal and provincial ministers, calling for a national price on carbon. The group says carbon pricing is the only way "to reflect the real environmental costs" and "is the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions, stimulate innovation and drive energy efficiency." The group wants to see heavy investment in clean infrastructure.
The non-profit made a similar plea in early October with only 22 signatories, which did not include any major carbon emitters. This latest press release now includes representatives from over 60 companies, including major emitters such as Shell, Cenovus, Suncor, Teck Resources, Northwest Refining and Rio Tinto.
The federal government has already moved to implement a minimum carbon price across the provinces, starting at $10/tonne, rising to $50/tonne by 2022. Provinces are free to decide how the funds will be distributed. The carbon tax will increase the cost of coal and gas-fired electricity and raise the cost of transportation fuels, all of which will be passed on to the consumer.
Critics of carbon-pricing argue that the added tax will stifle private-sector investment, particularly in the energy sector. Energy majors have made sizeable investments in LNG exports and petrochemical plants in jurisdictions such as the US, Asia and the Middle-East which have so far indicated no intentions to put a price on carbon.