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News, Western Canada

Manitoba unveils climate and green plan

Posted on November 1, 2017

The Government of Manitoba has released its A Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan, which is built on the strategic pillars of climate, jobs, water and nature, and includes 16 keystones for priority action that will support Manitoba’s economy and sustain the environment for future generations.

“Our vision is to make Manitoba the cleanest, greenest and most climate-resilient province in Canada,” said Manitoba Premier Brian Pallister. “We are charting that course with a comprehensive plan based on Manitoba needs and focused on Manitoba priorities.”

The climate and green plan was developed through the direct input of Manitobans, drawing from more than a year of consultations with environmental, business, and expert stakeholders.

“When it comes to addressing the challenges of climate change, we must understand just how unique we are as a province,” said Squires. “This plan sets out a made-in-Manitoba solution to climate change that respects our clean energy investments, supports our economy and reduces emissions. It will protect the environment while also building a prosperous low-carbon economy in Manitoba.”

The plan sets out a made-in-Manitoba approach to carbon pricing with a low and level price of  $25 per tonne beginning during 2018. This is half the amount mandated by the federal government and it will give Manitoba the second-lowest carbon price in Canada by 2022, Squires noted.

Beginning during 2018, the made-in-Manitoba price will save families and businesses over $260 million compared to the federal carbon tax over the next five years. An average Manitoba household will save $245 compared to the federal carbon tax over the same period, the minister said.

Cumulative emissions are projected to drop by more than one megatonne over the next five years‑80,000 tonnes more than with the federal carbon tax. Additional greenhouse-gas reduction actions set out in the plan will reduce emissions by more than double the federal carbon tax alone. The made-in-Manitoba price will not rise, Squires said, adding a full review of the carbon pricing plan will take place in 2022.

“Our Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan will cost less and reduce more than the made-in-Ottawa carbon tax,” added Pallister. “Our lower carbon price respects the massive hydro investments Manitobans have made over decades to build one of the cleanest electricity systems in the world.”

The plan confirms exemptions for agricultural emissions. The carbon levy will also not be applied to marked fuels used by farmers for their farming operations.

Agricultural operations will also be able to contribute to carbon sequestration and offset trading systems to be established in Manitoba and other provinces.

Large industrial emitters will be able to reduce their emissions while having their competitiveness concerns addressed through an output based pricing system of performance standards, offsets and credit trading.

Minister of Sustainable Development Rochelle Squires said an independent expert advisory commission of Manitobans will be established to help develop five-year Carbon Savings Accounts to meaningfully reduce emissions across sectors of the economy.

The Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan sets out a vast array of new initiatives to protect wetlands and watersheds, water quality, and wild species and habitats. Low carbon economy jobs will be encouraged through green infrastructure, clean technology, innovation financing, and skills and training, the minister added.

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