B.C. has a serious carbon leakage problem that could see the mining industry here shrink over the next 20 years, and emissions from mining rise in other countries, a new report by the Mining Association of (MABC) warns.
It warns that B.C.’s 14 operating mines could shrink to just five by 2040. When carbon taxes were first introduced in B.C. by the Liberal government, they were generally supported by B.C.’s mining industry.
But the industry expected other competing jurisdictions would likewise implement carbon pricing. Most didn’t. Moreover, the NDP ended carbon tax neutrality, in which increases in carbon taxes are offset with decreases in other taxes.
“When BC launched the carbon tax in 2008, it was assumed many other nations and subnational jurisdictions would follow with their own,” the report states. “Most have not. Those that did have protected their trade exposed firms.
“In light of this, BC’s mines and smelters face a significant cost disadvantage because firms they compete with in other jurisdictions have no carbon pricing or significantly lower carbon pricing.