What's next in Canada's fight against climate change?


Toronto, Canada - If Canada's election last month sent any message to the rest of the world, it was that climate change is now a major component of political discourse, especially in the North American country.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a second term, albeit with a minority government, running on the message of balancing climate and the economy.

In his first term, Trudeau implemented a federal carbon pollution price, starting at about $15 ($20 Canadian) per tonne and rising to about $37 ($50 Canadian) per tonne in 2022, with a rebate for individuals. After the election, Trudeau recommitted to working on climate change, but said he still plans to expand a controversial oil pipeline opposed by environmentalists.

Trudeau is set to unveil his new cabinet on Wednesday, with Parliament opening its next session December 5. Environmentalists will be looking to Trudeau's throne speech next month for signs about how he will approach climate change in the coming year. 

Canada's October election was the closest the country has ever come to a referendum on climate change. For the first time, all major parties put forward climate plans for the world's 10th-largest emitter. Canada also sits on the world's third-largest oil reserves.

Polls show Canadians have become increasingly concerned about climate change. A government report published in April found that Canada is warming at double the global rate, with northern Canada experiencing the brunt of that heat. Around the world, increasingly dire reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and more frequent and intense natural disasters have prompted weekly school strikes by children and teenagers, including in Canada.