WHITEHORSE—Premier Darrell Pasloski today reaffirmed the Yukon government’s opposition to a carbon tax as a tool to reduce emissions in Yukon and northern Canada.
“Canada’s northern economies are small and developing,” Pasloski said. “We need to cultivate and grow them so that northerners can prosper and not be burdened with additional costs and barriers to success. Yukon would not support any one-size fits all approach that fails to take regional needs into account.”
A carbon tax would have a negative impact on quality of life in the North, where burning fuel for heat and transportation is a necessity, not a luxury. A tax on carbon would increase the cost of living, which is already high due to Yukon’s remoteness, and affect the competiveness of our economy.
“We are doing our part in the North to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Pasloski said. “Ninety-five per cent of Yukon’s electricity comes from renewable sources and we continue to fund retrofits to our public and private infrastructure to improve energy efficiency. There are many ways to reduce emissions without imposing a new tax.”
The Yukon government fully supports action to address the challenge of climate change, as outlined in the Yukon Energy Strategy and the Climate Change Action Plan. Implementation of these plans has led to the expansion of Yukon’s hydro grid to reduce communities’ reliance on diesel, adoption of a territorial biomass strategy, conversion of Yukon’s back-up power to LNG from diesel, development of new technologies at the Cold Climate Innovation Centre and progress on the Next Generation Hydro Project.
Yukon’s greenhouse gas emissions account for less than one per cent of Canada’s overall carbon footprint. Any national strategy on emissions reduction needs to include investment in new and existing energy technologies. It should also take into consideration the unique challenges of living in the North and the needs of Yukon’s economy.
"I am hopeful that the upcoming First Ministers' Meeting will offer Canada's leaders an opportunity to discuss jobs and the economy in addition to other matters that are important to all Canadians," Pasloski added.
Communications, Executive Council Office