Canada's Supreme Court Gives Green Light

Updated: Apr 10

It's very good news for Canada's ambitions to reach net-zero by 2050.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau succeeded in getting a contentious law passed to tax carbon emissions. The 2018 Greenhouse Gas Pricing Act is a national framework for carbon pricing, and sets minimum pricing standards for provinces to meet.


Provinces could implement their own plans, but the law gives the federal government in Ottawa the power to apply its own carbon tax, known as the "backstop," on those provinces that either fall short of the national standard or haven't implemented their own system.


The tax plan has been the central driving force in Trudeau's goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, but it's faced fierce criticism from its right-leaning political adversaries, who contend it hurts consumers and energy producers. Governments in three provinces - Alberta, Ontario and Saskatchewan - challenged the legality of the measure.


The issue wound up in Canada's Supreme Court, which ruled last week that: "Parliament has jurisdiction to enact this law as a matter of national concern." It's a big political win for Trudeau and very good news for Canada's ambitions to reach net-zero by 2050.