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Canada Tory leader vows to scrap carbon tax, put cap on large emitters if elected

Canada's Conservative leader Andrew Scheer (pictured May 2019) said the country could create more jobs through "technological growth while at the same time lowering global emissions"
AFP/File
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Ottawa (AFP)

Canada's Conservative leader Andrew Scheer vowed on Wednesday to replace a federal carbon tax with a cap on large emitters if he unseats Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in October elections.

"Technology, not taxes," Scheer said in a speech.

"The fact is we can actually create more jobs in Canada through technological growth while at the same time lowering global emissions."

Trudeau's government rolled out a starting carbon tax of Can$20 ($15 US) in April on fuels sold in four provinces that haven't fallen in line with his emissions reduction strategy.

It is scheduled to increase incrementally to Can$50 over the coming years.

Six other provinces were initially exempt because each has come up with their own carbon tax or cap and trade system to help Canada meet its Paris Agreement target of reducing CO2 emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

But there has been increased pushback from Tory-led provinces to the levy.

Several parliamentary reports have also said Canada will not meet its climate objective under the current policies.

Scheer said Canada's emissions were 44 megatons over target in 2016, 66 megatonnes over in 2017 and 103 megatonnes over last year.

"Conservatives fundamentally believe that you cannot tax your way to a cleaner environment. Instead, the answer lies in technology," he said.

Under the Tory scheme, polluters who exceed a 40-kilotons per year emissions cap would be required to invest in emissions reduction technology specific to their industry.

A Canadian Conservative government would also increase pressure on other nations such as China to fight climate change, Scheer said, noting that Canada's emissions are a mere 1.6 percent of the world's total.

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