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Carbon pricing becoming major focus for NWT

A new report is showing that Northerners are up-to-bat to develop a carbon pricing system.

The new federal carbon tax comes into effect in 2018, leaving a group of Northern energy policy experts and Indigenous leaders to try to find a way to budget a new strategic plan.

The federally mandated levy on greenhouse gas emissions will set a minimum of $1o per tonne of emissions next year, and will gradually raise year-by-year to reach $50 per tonne in 2022.

The report, The Northern Way, gives options for ways that the Northwest Territories can benefit from a Territorial carbon tax. A GNWT-led Territorial Carbon Price Working Group is focusing on ways to put a strategic plan in place within the next five years.

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In a post-devolution Northwest Territories, it is critical that Northerners have a leading role in creating, managing, and benefiting from their own carbon pricing system,” says Michael Miltenberger, working group lead. “We need to establish a process that will take full advantage of Northern expertise so that NWT communities are poised to prosper when the federal carbon price comes into effect.

A major focus for the report is trying to create a strategic plan that does not effect Northerners negatively. It’s being estimated that the carbon pricing system, coupled with federal funding to get remote communities within the Territory off of diesel energy, could raise up to $320 million for the NWT.

A discussion of the report and it’s recommendations will be held at the Inuvik Energy Centre Conference from June 12-14.

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