National carbon prices would have to rise to $150 a tonne if Canada is going to meet its 2030 GHG targets – and the figure rises to $220 without access to cheaper emissions credits from outside the country, two leading environmental economists say in a report to be released Friday.

In assessing Canada’s climate-change policies, the economists says there will have to be a substantial strengthening in the stringency of the carbon pricing and regulations to which Ottawa and most provincial governments agreed last December.

The balkanized nature of provincial climate plans will drive up Canada’s overall cost of emission reductions, says the report from David Sawyer and Chris Bataille, whose work was funded by four environmental organizations. Still, the December agreement puts in place a host of measures that will, when implemented, fundamentally change the picture for Canada’s greenhouse-gas emissions and make the 2030 targets achievable, it says.

“We’ve now got the knobs and dials in place from coast to coast,” Mr. Sawyer said in an interview. “Mostly everybody is doing stuff and the laggards are now moving. We can now play with those levers to achieve deeper ambition, but we have some challenges.”


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