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Alberta increases carbon levy to CA$30 per tonne for 2018

As part of its "made-in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan" to diversify the economy, create jobs and reduce emissions, the government of the Province of Alberta, Canada has raised its carbon levy by CA$10 to CA$30 per tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Revenue from the levy, that came into effect January 1, will continue to be invested in Alberta through green infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, bioenergy and innovation.

According to a statement, in 2017, the province committed up to CA$1.53 billion for phase one of the Calgary Green Line Light Rail Transit (LRT). Support was also committed for Edmonton’s LRT future expansion. The funds came from the CA$20 per tonne carbon levy that came into effect January 1, 2017, as part of the Climate Leadership Plan (CLP) that was announced in November 2015,

In addition, the province’s investment in Energy Efficiency Albert has enabled homeowners and businesses in Alberta to save over CA$300 million through rebates on energy-efficient products (like programmable thermostats), home improvements (like tankless water heaters), and solar installations.

Our government is committed to leading policy development, not taking policy direction from Ottawa. Our made-in-Alberta Climate Leadership Plan works for Albertans and Alberta’s economy. Since 2015, our plan has supported mortgage-paying jobs, built an entirely new and long overdue energy efficiency industry, and put a meaningful dent in emissions reductions. We will continue to protect Alberta’s health, wealth and growth in 2018, said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office.

Furthermore, CA$13 million has supported programs and projects, like grants for Indigenous communities, LED lighting for health facilities and highways, and solar installations for community buildings. The Alberta government also reduced the small business tax rate, which it says will save business owners an estimated CA$175 million in 2017-18.

The government also recently announced CA$1.4 billion for innovation projects, funded by the Climate Leadership Plan, which includes:

  • CA$440 million for oil sands innovation.
  • CA$225 million for research into new technologies that reduce emissions.
  • CA$240 million for industrial energy efficiency projects that help companies save money while upgrading equipment or facilities to lower energy use.
  • CA$63 million in grants for bioenergy projects including biodiesel and ethanol.
  • CA$400 million in loan guarantees to support investment in efficiency and renewable energy.

To help offset the costs of the carbon levy, rebates for low- and middle-income Albertans are also increasing this year. The carbon levy rebate is estimated to give about CA$310 million back, in full or partially, to about 60 percent of Alberta households in 2017-18.

The provincial government also says that even with the increase in carbon pricing, the province continues to have an overall tax advantage compared to other provinces, with no provincial sales tax, health premium or payroll tax. Albertans and Alberta businesses will still pay at least CA$8.7 billion less in total taxes and carbon charges than if Alberta had the same tax system and carbon pricing as other provinces.

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