Carbon pricing offers an answer to climate change | Opinion | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Carbon pricing offers an answer to climate change

Pricing carbon can help save the environment, and Nova Scotia's economy.

Carbon pricing offers an answer to climate change
Naomi Hill is director of sustainability at Fusion Halifax. This submission was written in part with contributions by Madeline Lawler, Andy Blair, Joy Samuel and Connie Loh.

Fusion Halifax believes that our generation deserves a chance to thrive in Nova Scotia. With the impacts of climate change being felt by Nova Scotians and diverse populations worldwide, we urge our provincial government to support our future and join Canadian provinces from coast to coast in adopting a carbon price without delay.

Climate change is already impacting the careers, opportunities and challenges of Nova Scotians—and it will do so for generations. Current and potential future impacts include rising sea levels, salt water intruding into our fresh water sources, increasingly frequent and severe storms, declining food sources, deteriorating infrastructure, reduced agricultural and fishing yields and numerous physical and mental health risks.

At the 2015 United Nations climate conference, our minister of environment and climate change, Catherine McKenna, endorsed the need to limit average global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Since we are currently on track to exceed 2.5 degrees of warming by 2100, we must act boldly and swiftly to ensure the 1.5 degree limit. As prime minister Trudeau has proclaimed, “pricing carbon is part of the solution that this country and all of its premiers will put forward” to address climate change.

As engaged young professionals, we call upon our provincial government to take action and adopt the carbon pricing mechanism best suited for Nova Scotia.

With over 85 percent of Canadians living in a jurisdiction that has legislated a price on carbon or is committed to doing so, Nova Scotians will be put at a disadvantage if we don’t join the rest of the country in pricing carbon. As our province works to attract and retain young people, we cannot afford to fall behind other provinces by failing to adopt modern climate policy to secure a livable future.

Adopting a carbon price will enable Nova Scotians to provide entrepreneurial solutions to the climate crisis. Done right, it will help spark the industries of tomorrow. A fair carbon pricing mechanism will allow our province to continue to attract talented immigrants and interprovincial migrants. By shifting incentives away from private, fossil fuel-based transport, carbon pricing will promote public and active modes of transportation and develop our urban infrastructure.

Many methods exist for pricing carbon; Fusion Halifax asks our provincial government to pursue the mechanism that works best for Nova Scotians, taking into account our unique economic, cultural and demographic circumstances. Pricing carbon need not be a threat to our provincial economy—in fact, it is an opportunity to generate additional revenue and can be designed in a way that does not disadvantage lower-income Nova Scotians.

As young people, we are repeatedly told that it is up to us to fix the problems that previous generations left behind. We believe it is time to work inter-generationally to take charge of our province’s future. By pricing carbon, Nova Scotia will help Canada meet—and hopefully exceed—its climate targets while ensuring that our own province remains a secure place to live, work and play for generations to come.


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