Fredericton, (March 25, 2021) – Today the Supreme Court of Canada upheld the right of the federal government to employ a carbon pricing mechanism across the entire nation. The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NBASGA) intervened on the side of the federal government, and we applaud this 6 to 3 decision, which allows Canada to address the global climate emergency in a uniform manner.
The court reaffirmed for good that “Global climate change is real, and it is clear that human activities are the primary cause.” NBASGA Spokesperson, Jim Emberger, said that, “while noting that all levels of government have parts to play in solving a global climate crisis, the court recognized that many necessary actions can only be achieved through national and international actions.”
“We are disappointed that the court decided the case without addressing our argument that the government’s carbon pricing program was justified by its responsibility to guarantee life, liberty and the security of the person under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, we are gratified that they point out that Canada’s North and Indigenous people endure inordinate climate change suffering.”
Emberger added, ”This is a powerful tool, which we hope governments employ wisely. Yet, it is only one tool. If governments use other financial tools to subsidize and increase the supply of fossil fuels, it will negate the reductions in demand that it achieves through carbon pricing.”
The federal government used taxpayer money to buy the Transmountain Pipeline, increasing the expansion of the tarsands. It is now considering the financing of the Goldboro, Nova Scotia LNG export project with up to a billion dollars. This will build a network of hundreds of new gas wells, fracking, pipelines and an LNG export plant, and stretch from Alberta through Quebec to Atlantic Canada.
The increased methane and CO2 emissions resulting from these projects alone will prevent provinces and the nation from hitting their already inadequate greenhouse gas emission targets, directly offsetting decreased emissions from carbon pricing.
The contradictions between our economic policies and scientific fact are painfully obvious. Do governments really grasp the meaning of ‘existential threat,’ as the courts describe the climate crisis, and do governments recognize the scientific fact that producing any additional fossil fuels will undo any other climate progress?
Emberger said, “We hope that they do. It would be disappointing to celebrate with the government on this historic climate victory, only to have to oppose them in other courtrooms. Holding up one’s hand and swearing to take serious climate action, while crossing one’s fingers and funneling money to fossil fuel interests behind one’s back, will bring us to ruin. The laws of physics don’t care about such political games and strategies. Like the Supreme Court, they don’t vote, but they do have the final say.”