Trudeau spent $1.7 million pushing carbon tax on other countries

The feds launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge (GCPC) at the 2021 UN climate summit with the aim of reducing global emissions by 60% through 2030. It has failed to deliver meaningful results.

Trudeau spent $1.7 million pushing carbon tax on other countries
The Canadian Press / Graham Hughes
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The Trudeau government dumped $1.7 million into a global carbon tax campaign that has ultimately failed, records show.

“All Canadians need to know Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax push is an utter failure,” said Franco Terrazzano, Federal Director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF).

The feds launched the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge (GCPC) at the 2021 UN climate summit with the aim of reducing global emissions by 60% through 2030. 

“Carbon pricing is most effective when more countries adopt it,” reads the program’s website. It has delivered limited results.

Less than a quarter (24%) of global emissions are currently covered by a carbon tax, according to the World Bank. 

That’s not enough, said a report by the World Economic Forum (WEF).

According to access-to-information records, the bid to impose carbon taxes elsewhere could not overcome the vehement opposition to the policy.

“Look south of the border and see the United States’ refusal to impose their own tax,” said Terrazzano.

John Podesta, a long-time Democratic strategist, said not to expect a carbon tax from the Biden administration anytime soon. “The [climate] community has largely moved into a different framework,” he notes.

But World Bank managing director Axel van Trotsenburg has a different take on the matter, calling the tax a “powerful tool.”

“Carbon pricing can be one of the most powerful tools to help countries reduce emissions. That’s why it is good to see these instruments expand to new sectors, become more adaptable and complement other measures,” he said.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) boasted earlier this month that governments collected $104 billion in carbon tax revenues last year to counter ‘climate change’.

The CTF remains unconvinced.

“If Trudeau can’t even get our biggest trading partner and ally to impose a carbon tax,” Terrazzano said, “then why is he wasting money trying to push this unpopular tax around the world?”

About 70% of countries do not have a federal carbon tax, including three of the four largest emitting countries: U.S., Russia and India.

Only 12 countries, including Kazakhstan and Chile, have signed onto the Global Carbon Pricing Challenge as “partners,” alongside the European Union. Côte d’Ivoire is listed as the lone “friend” of the program. 

There are 195 countries in the world, according to the United Nations. 

“This program is a complete failure that’s wasting taxpayers’ money,” Terrazzano said. 

The Trudeau government earlier spent $493,937 for the WEF to write a favourable report on the carbon tax. 

The report, New Nature Economy Report, contends fiscal policy will not achieve a “nature-positive, low-carbon” economy, advocating additional measures.

“To make nature-positive models investable, explicitly pricing in and articulating environmental cost factors to penalize unsustainable practices … through carbon taxes … will be a game changer,” it says.

Environment Commissioner Jerry DeMarco told the Senate energy committee last year that emissions in Canada are “up 14 percent since 1990.”

We are “the only G7 country that has not achieved any emission reduction since 1990,” he said. “That needs to change now.”

The federal government has spent about $200 million administering the carbon tax in Canada, according to separate records obtained by the CTF.

Meanwhile, Canada’s GDP is expected to fall $25 billion in 2030 due to the carbon tax.

A 2023 report, Emission Reductions Through Greenhouse Gas Regulations, depicted federal climate programs as ‘guesswork’.

“The federal government does not know whether it is using the right tools to reduce emissions,” wrote DeMarco.

“Solutions exist,” he said, “such as renewing the government’s fleet with zero-emission vehicles or implementing effective fiscal and regulatory measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

But the official contends Canada implements other solutions “much too slowly.”

The environment department has been faulted time again for not explaining the impact of carbon taxes and other measures. 

Associate Deputy Environment Minister, Lawrence Hanson, said the carbon tax only reduced emissions by 1%. Minister Steven Guilbeault pledged to do better. 

But Terrazzano says Canadians have had enough.

“Trudeau should stop wasting money, stop punishing Canadians and scrap the carbon tax,” he said. 

The tax is currently worth 12¢ per litre of propane, 15¢ per cubic metre of natural gas, 18¢ per litre of gasoline, 20¢ per litre of aviation fuel and 25¢ per litre of heating oil. A 23% increase is due next April 1.

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