Canada’s opposition Conservative Party has unveiled a new carbon pricing plan that is central to its environment policy.
The Conservatives have proposed a "personal low-carbon savings account," which is a loyalty-card carbon pricing system where consumers would see what they pay on fuel stored into a bank account that can be used for green purchases.
Instead of charging a fuel tax when consumers gas up their vehicles and then rebating it back to them through their income taxes, which is how consumer carbon pricing works under the current Liberal program, the Conservatives said that money would go into a tax-free savings account for Canadians.
The Conservatives said the accounts would be managed by companies similar to how a debit-card system works. The plan would work like other loyalty reward programs so that, over time, users would save up money to buy green products such as a bike or transit pass.
The ruling Liberal government was quick to criticize the Conservative proposal as a "Petro points scheme where the more you burn, the more you earn."
The Conservatives say their consumer price would start at $20 per tonne and rise to no higher than $50 per tonne. The Liberal plan, applicable only in provinces that do not have their own approved carbon pricing scheme, sets the price at $40 per tonne, rising each year until it reaches $170 per tonne by 2030.