On Sunday, November 22, Premier Rachel Notley and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced that carbon tax is coming to Alberta, in a move to protect the environment and move to greener and more sustainable options.
Financial officers in Calgary are still working out exactly how this will impact Calgary, as each municipality is different, but the new climate change policy will increase heating, electricity, and gas prices. Details from the province are expected within the next month.
With the assumption that Calgary’s households consume the same amount of fossil fuels as in 2015, the estimates for the province’s carbon tax are around a $40 increase per month in costs, rising to about $80 per month in 2030.
For gas, specifically, Albertans will see an extra seven cents per litre and $1.68/GJ (gigajoule) for natural gas by 2018, according to CBC.
This is quite a jump for each month, but it is seen as an incentive to promote energy efficacy and financing to lower the cost of bills. There will also be programs offered that are tailored to the needs of low-income homes. As of now, there is a recommendation for the government to find ways to protect the most impacted small to medium-sized businesses through similar programs.
The indirect move to improve the environment is a good start but the Alberta government is committed to phasing out coal emissions by 2030, and to do that they want to “replace two thirds of our existing coal electricity with renewable energy.” According to the Alberta Government, some of those who are in support of the Climate Leadership Plan are doctors and health experts saying that Alberta’s emissions are effecting peoples health.
“Right now, 55 per cent of Alberta’s electricity is generated by coal, and coal pollution causes respiratory illness in more people than any other way of generating energy,” Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said in a statement. “It’s time for Alberta to move to cleaner sources of electricity, and that’s what we’re going to do by reaching zero coal emissions.”
The City of Calgary has made it clear that they have no official position yet on any of the carbon pricing schemes outlined in the Climate Leadership discussion paper.
— Andrew Leach (@andrew_leach) November 25, 2015