Use of social cost of carbon values by the Government of Canada

Petition: 435

Issue(s): Climate change; Environmental assessment; Federal-provincial relations; Governance; Human/environmental health;

Petitioner(s): Canadian residents

Petitioner Location(s): Calgary, Alberta

Date Received: 17 October 2019

Status: Completed—Response(s) to petition received

Summary: The petition requests information on the federal government’s use of the social cost of carbon (SCC) valuation system. The petition states that SCC valuation is used in cost‑benefit analysis for all significant regulatory proposals to value carbon dioxide emission changes. The petition asserts that it is unclear how the government’s own SCC values are, or were, used to determine the federally set carbon price. The petition refers to an apparent discrepancy of more than 100% between the current specific pricing levels in the federal carbon price regime and SCC values used for cost‑benefit analysis in the federal regulatory impact analysis statements.

Furthermore, the petition argues that it is unclear whether and how SCC values were considered in the development of the new federal impact assessment regime and federal preparation for implementing the enabling legislation. The petition calls for greater transparency from the federal government with respect to the use and application of the SCC, so Canadians can understand how carbon dioxide emissions pollution is valued and how this affects the government’s decision making.

3The petition poses a series of questions about how the federal government has used the SCC in decision‑making processes, including regulatory impact analysis statements, federal carbon pricing, and the federal impact assessment regime. The petition also asks how SCC estimates from the United States’ Federal Interagency Working Group were used in developing Canada’s carbon pricing regime.

Federal Departments Responsible for Reply: Environment and Climate Change Canada; Finance Canada; Natural Resources Canada