Alberta residents would support using revenue collected from the province’s tax on industrial carbon pollution to support energy efficiency, rooftop renewables, electric vehicle chargers, and other climate solutions, new research suggests.
“Alberta has acknowledged it needs to do more to cut carbon and the government has said everything is on the table,” said Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada. “Any credible climate policy will need to meaningfully reduce pollution—and that won’t happen without a range of clean energy solutions.”
At present, Alberta’s large industrial polluters can opt to pay a $15 per tonne tax on carbon pollution if they fail to reduce their emissions by a required amount. An arm’s length organization then invests this revenue in a variety of projects, most of which are focused on efforts to reduce emissions in the province’s fossil-fuel sector.
In early April, Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada asked NRG Research Group to find out how strongly Albertans support or oppose using that carbon pricing revenue to support a variety of pollution reduction initiatives. The results suggest that citizens would support a move by the province to invest the revenues in a broader array of climate solutions.
“Alberta is collecting a significant amount of revenue from its levy on industrial carbon pollution,” said Smith. “As the government considers strengthening its climate policy by raising the price of carbon pollution, it has an opportunity to also revisit how best to use the revenue to support clean energy and efficiency.”
A ThinkHQ Public Affairs survey conducted in mid April found only 31 per cent of Albertans were aware of the province’s carbon levy. However, once the policy was explained to them, nearly three-quarters of respondents said they supported it.