"I will be engaging with the premiers in the coming weeks to establish a strong position for Canada so that people know that Canada's years of being a less-than-enthusiastic actor on the climate change file are behind us."
The defeated Conservative government of Stephen Harper has been internationally criticized for years as a climate policy laggard, but did put forward an aggressive target in May for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030.
However Canada is currently not close to meeting its previous Copenhagen commitment of slashing emissions 17 per cent by 2020, and most of the reductions that have occurred came about either as a result of provincial measures or the global economic downturn of 2008-09.
The Harper government attacked any talk of carbon pricing for years as a job-killing tax on everything but it leaves office amid what appears to be a global movement toward putting a price on carbon pollution.
This week the Canadian Chamber of Commerce announced that more than 98 per cent of delegates to its annual general meeting had agreed on a resolution to reduce emissions "by using economic instruments, where the federal government is asked to work with the provinces to adopt a national carbon tax or cap and trade system to achieve a reduction in GHG by 2050."
Quebec already has an active cap-and-trade market with California that Ontario recently agreed to join, and British Columbia has had a provincial carbon tax for years.
Premiers meet by phone, agree to attend Paris climate summit with Trudeau | National Observer&