The Government of Canada releases technical paper on pricing carbon pollution

News Release

Pricing carbon pollution will help Canada reduce emissions and grow a clean economy

May 18, 2017 – Ottawa, Ontario – Environment and Climate Change Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to addressing climate change while building a clean, innovative economy and creating good middle-class jobs. That’s why the Prime Minister and Premiers from across the country came together in December 2016 to advance climate action.

Right now, 97 per cent of Canadians live in provinces that already have a price on carbon pollution, or are working towards it. Today, the Government of Canada released a technical paper that outlines a proposed federal carbon pricing option for provinces that choose not to have their own system in place in 2018.

Ensuring polluters pay in every province is central to a credible plan to tackle climate change. It reduces pollution and gives the incentive to companies to innovate and create cleaner solutions. And it provides certainty to businesses that we are moving to a clean-growth economy. That is why companies across Canada, from banks, to transportation firms, to oil and gas industry, have called for a price on carbon. They know pricing pollution makes good business sense.

Whichever system is implemented – federal or provincial – revenues will remain in the provinces. Revenues from carbon pricing can be used to lower taxes, like in British Columbia, or support low-and middle-income families, like in Alberta. Ontario and Quebec invest their revenues in innovative green programs that create good jobs. For the federal option, we are evaluating how best to return the revenues, for example, by giving it back to individuals and businesses in the province.

Comments on the proposed federal option are welcome until June 30, 2017, at These comments will help to inform the legislation and the design of the final carbon pricing system.


“Canadians know that polluting isn't free. We know that it causes droughts, floods and extreme weather events, and affects our health. So it’s only fair that polluters pay, and that there is a price on pollution across Canada. This will reduce pollution, create incentives for companies to innovate and develop clean solutions, and provide certainty to businesses that we are moving to a clean-growth economy. That’s why we are working together with provinces, territories, Indigenous Peoples, businesses, communities and all Canadians to build a more sustainable, cleaner, more prosperous economy, and create good middle-class jobs now and for the future. Because it’s good for business. And because we owe it to our kids and grandkids.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • All provinces and territories but two signed on to the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in December 2016.

  • Canada’s climate plan includes measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate growth across all sectors of the economy.

  • Pricing carbon pollution – along with investments in green infrastructure, innovation, and better regulations – will allow Canada to meet its target of reducing emissions to below 2005 levels by 2030.

  • Pricing carbon pollution gives companies and people the flexibility to choose solutions that enable them to pollute less.

  • When provinces put a price on pollution, they can choose to use that money in the way that works best for their economy and communities.

Related Products

Associated Links


Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll free)

Page details

Date modified: