Putting a Price on Carbon

The Pacific Coast is already experiencing the devastating effects of climate change, from wildfires burning homes and threatening whole communities to drought hurting our farmers and ocean acidification rocking our shellfish industry. To curb dangerous greenhouse gas emissions and combat the effects of a changing climate, we are committed to accounting for the costs of carbon pollution in our jurisdictions and working nationally and globally to advance carbon pricing based on successful models. We are also coordinating as a region to address “super pollutants” – chemicals that have relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere, but are powerful contributors to climate change.


Successful Carbon Pricing Programs in British Columbia and California

British Columbia implemented a revenue-neutral carbon tax program in 2008. At its current price of $35 per tonne, it is among the highest carbon tax rates in the world, and yet the province’s GDP has remained at or above the Canadian national average. The tax rate will increase $5/tonne each year until it reaches $50 per tonne in 2021. California’s cap-and-trade program, active since 2013, has generated $6.5 billion in auction proceeds, thirty-five percent of which are reinvesting to benefit low-income and disadvantaged communities across the state.

Commitment to Addressing Super Pollutants

We are committed to establish a consistent approach to monitoring and reporting short-lived climate pollutant emissions, with ambition to set targets by 2020. Short-lived climate pollutants – “super pollutants” – are chemicals that have relatively short lifetimes in the atmosphere – from a few hours to a few decades – but are powerful contributors to climate change. These pollutants include black carbon, methane, fluorinated gases, and tropospheric ozone. With their relative potency, reducing emissions for short-lived pollutants could have significant benefits for combating global temperature rise. Many super pollutants also affect human health, agriculture, and ecosystems.