There's something about carbon pricing

April 24, 2023
Denise Mullen


  • Canada is one of 47 national jurisdictions in the world that has put a price on greenhouse gas emissions.
  • In early 2023, the government of British Columbia finally announced a transition to an output-based approach to emissions pricing, with an anticipated implementation date of April 1, 2024. The Business Council has long advocated such a change and has been clear — adopting a new provincial approach to carbon pricing must leave our major export sectors and their employees better off financially than under the existing regime.
  • The next year will be critical. British Columbia has an opportunity to resolve long-standing issues and concerns raised by the business community about the design of its carbon tax and its impact on the competitiveness of “bread and butter” B.C. industries. The more B.C. (and Canada) add to the domestic cost of producing tradeable goods, the less attractive our province becomes for investment in key prosperity-generating export industries.
  • As provincial policymakers look to an output-based carbon pricing regime, the details matter, immensely. Transparency and collaboration between government and industry is critical to establishing a workable system that advances B.C.’s economic interests while also contributing to the province’s greenhouse gases reduction goals.
  • Importantly, research shows that British Columbia energy intensive trade exposed products are 18 million tonnes less GHG intensive compared to jurisdictions we compete with globally. A new carbon tax structure must ensure both competitiveness and the long-term health of B.C.’s economic base since more than half of our revenues from trade are generated by these natural resource and manufacturing sectors.

Of note, BCBC and partner associations recently wrote to the Provincial Government detailing industry concerns and considerations for the government as they work to develop the B.C. output-based pricing system (OBPS). You can read the letter here.


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