Canadian supreme court upholds Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax

Canada’s supreme court has ruled that the federal government can impose a carbon price across the country, reports the Financial Times, despite the protests of some provinces. The six-to-three majority decision dismisses a challenge from the oil-rich provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan, which were joined by Conservative-run Ontario in arguing that the federal government’s 2018 carbon tax law infringed on their jurisdiction, the paper explains. In its ruling, the court said there was “broad consensus among expert international bodies that carbon pricing is a critical measure for the reduction of [greenhouse gas] emissions”. The court described climate change as “an existential threat to human life in Canada and around the world” and said the harms went “beyond provincial boundaries and that it is a matter of national concern”. The FT says the decision “will be seen as vindication for Justin Trudeau’s governing Liberal party, which made climate a centrepiece of its re-election bid in 2019 and in December committed the country – the biggest exporter of oil to the US – to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050”. CBC News in Canada notes that the federal carbon tax, which is $40 a tonne this year, “is set to rise dramatically in the decade to come as the federal government pursues an ambitious, green-friendly economic transition”. The New York Times and BBC News also cover the story.