Many views have been expressed recently about how Manitoba can do its part to help address climate change. The potential for a carbon tax or a cap and trade system have dominated these discussions. Many wonder how Manitoba can make a significant contribution to the effort when we are responsible for only a small fraction of global emissions.
While true that Manitoba’s emissions are comparatively low, per capita we are monster carbon emitters on the global scale. We have the opportunity now to change that by establishing effective policy and legislation that could be used as a model or a framework for other jurisdictions to consider when making plans to do their part.
Our largest and least talked about opportunity is protecting and wisely managing the vast boreal forest region that covers 80% of Manitoba. The boreal stores more carbon in its trees and soils than any other terrestrial ecosystem on earth. Developing a climate plan for Manitoba that keeps carbon in the ground and away from the atmosphere will place us on the world stage as a source of inspiration for others to follow.
This letter was originally submitted to the Winnipeg Free Press in response to the Oct. 13, 2016 article Trudeau's carbon tax makes for poor policy.