Trudeau Sees Carbon Price as Investment Edge in Age of Trump

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Photographer: Clement Sabourin/AFP via Getty Images

Justin Trudeau says Canada’s carbon taxes will draw global investment from energy companies, giving them greater certainty about costs at a time when it’s less clear what the U.S. will do under President-elect Donald Trump.

The Canadian prime minister also told a business audience in oil hub Calgary that Alberta’s recent carbon levy was necessary for his government’s approval of two major pipelines moving crude out of the province. Trudeau said Premier Rachel Notley’s provincial tax, which is in line with federal measures, allowed him to address criticism from environmental groups and aboriginal leaders.

Trudeau said he will move ahead with tougher carbon rules even if Trump remains less enthusiastic about fighting climate change. Canada may gain from embracing clean technologies and still also see continued cooperation from U.S. state and local governments, the prime minister said Wednesday. 

The stakes around diverging carbon policy are high because most of Canada’s oil and gas exports are sent to the U.S., and domestic manufacturers compete based in part on energy costs. “The long term stability, the predictability that we are offering in Canada is extremely appealing in a world which is more and more unstable,” Trudeau told reporters. 

He also touted Canada’s stability with aboriginal leaders, saying he’s confident their objections to pipelines won’t turn acrimonious as they did with the Standing Rock demonstrations in North Dakota. “I’m very confident in Canadians’ capacity to hold strong views and strong perspectives” and still “work together,” he said.

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