Madam Speaker, I will be splitting my time with the member for Ottawa—Vanier.
Canadians understand that polluting the air we breathe or polluting the earth and the oceans that feed us has a cost. Simply put, pollution is not free. If we are to reduce the greenhouse gases that threaten our planet and future generations, polluters must pay.
It is also critical that the price be fair and effective. If we did not fairly and effectively price pollution, we would be negligent in our duty as federal lawmakers and it would be a betrayal of our children, grandchildren, and generations of Canadians to come. Putting a price on carbon pollution is central to our government's plan to fight climate change while at the same time growing our economy and building a bright future for all Canadians.
Our shared quality of life and our present and future prosperity are inextricably linked to a healthy environment. That is why our government is taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by introducing the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act. Pricing carbon pollution is the most effective way to reduce emissions because it creates incentives for businesses and households to innovate, and to pollute less. Putting a price on carbon respects and reflects the commitments we made to Canadians in 2015.
When our government took office more than two years ago, our promise to Canadians was clear: We would invest in economic growth while respecting our shared environment. We also committed to respectful consultation as we worked toward achieving this goal. Let me emphasize that this legislation has not been developed in isolation. It has been developed through collaboration. We worked with our provincial, territorial, and indigenous partners to adopt the pan-Canadian framework on clean growth and climate change in December 2016.
The framework includes a pan-Canadian approach to pricing carbon pollution with the aim of having carbon pollution pricing in place in all provinces and territories this year. The plan provides the provinces and territories with the flexibility to choose between systems, an explicit price-based system or a cap and trade system.
Thanks to the efforts and the hard work of our partners, a price on carbon pollution is now in place in four provinces, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, covering more than 80% of the Canadian population. Those who suggest that a price on carbon pollution is somehow negatively impacting the financial health of Canadians should know that these provinces, Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Alberta, are presently leading Canada in job creation and economic growth.
In addition, all other provinces have committed to adopting some form of carbon pollution pricing and we are confident that they too will reap the benefits that we know go hand in hand with carbon pricing: cleaner air and water and a better quality of life for everyone.
To further support implementation of a price on carbon pollution across Canada, the government is taking steps to ensure that a legal framework is in place for the proposed federal carbon pollution pricing system. In jurisdictions that do not have a carbon pollution pricing system that meets the federal standard, or in those jurisdictions that opt to go with the federal system, the federal carbon pollution pricing system would apply on January 1, 2019, starting at a price of $20 per tonne of emissions.
The direct revenue from the carbon charges on pollution under the federal system would go back to the province or territory of origin. In combination with other measures under Canada's clean growth and climate action plan, putting a price on carbon pollution will put Canada on course to meet our 2030 emissions target.
Obviously, greenhouse gases know no national boundaries, but that is not, and should not be, a reason to delay action. By putting a price on carbon pollution, Canada is joining 67 other jurisdictions that have already taken this important step to curb greenhouse gas pollution. Together, those overseas jurisdictions represent about half of the global economy and more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions.
With the greenhouse gas pollution pricing act, we are not only meeting our commitment to Canada, we are meeting our commitment to the global community.
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges of our time. We have no choice but to take action. In Canada and abroad, the effects are clear: coastal erosion, thawing permafrost, and dramatic and unpredictable changes in weather patterns, including heat waves, droughts, and flooding. Even in my riding over the last several years we have experienced record flooding in communities like Bancroft, Tweed, Thurlow, and all along Lake Ontario, including the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, while in 2016 we experienced the most severe drought on record since records have been kept in the late 1880s. We cannot just sit idly by when these 100-year weather events are occurring every few years.
Canadians understand that a clean environment and a strong economy go together and that their quality of life today and the quality of life of future generations depend on the decisions that we make today. Protecting Canada's air, water, and magnificent natural areas while creating a world-leading clean economy is key to our overall goal.
Our government believes that carbon pricing will harness the power of the market to drive decisions that will protect our environment and grow our economy. I have great examples in my own riding, like the plan in Marmora to turn an abandoned mine into a 400-megawatt pump storage battery, or a business in Napanee called FireRein, which is innovating with an environmentally friendly fire suppressant that has helped fight forest fires in B.C. Both of these help the environment, and both of them create good well-paying jobs.
We know that climate action is an enormous economic opportunity for Canada. We intend to seize that opportunity because it makes environmental and economic sense, and because it will ensure Canadians have access to the opportunities they and their families need to succeed. The idea is simple. We are putting a price on what we do not want, carbon pollution, and taking steps to encourage more of what we do want, clean innovation and reduced emissions. The government's approach to growing the economy while protecting the environment is working. We have introduced bold measures to help small businesses and have introduced incentives for our innovators and entrepreneurs.
In response to these and other measures, over the last two years, hard-working Canadians have created more than 600,000 new jobs, most of them full time. Unemployment rates are near their lowest levels we have seen in more than 40 years. We are delivering on our promise to strengthen and grow the middle class and offer real help to everyone working hard to join it.
At the same time, we know that economic indicators only tell part of the story. Our shared quality of life and our present and future prosperity are closely linked to a healthy environment. That is why our government is forging ahead with determination and ambition to create a cleaner environment and a more prosperous future for all Canadians.