photo above: Activists rally for action on climate change on Sept. 27, 2019 in Montreal.
WN: No doubt future generations will look at us with great anger, though not incomprehension. It is the human condition to resist making dramatic changes when creature comforts and convenience are at potential forfeit. That goes for the majority who are not in denial, let alone the fools typified by Grand Ostrich Trump . . .
TORONTO — The least painful way for Canada to hit its emissions targets is to dramatically hike carbon pricing over the next decade, a group of economists recommends.
The report, released Wednesday by the Ecofiscal Commission
, takes a detailed look at how carbon pricing compares to other potential government interventions, namely stringent regulations and subsidies. It concludes a massive carbon hike is the most cost-effective policy measure to lower greenhouse-gas emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
The report is a wake-up call, showing both lawmakers and citizens that it’s time to move beyond “magical thinking,” said Jason Dion, one of the authors.
“I think Canadians want serious climate policy, and what we’ve done with this report is show what that looks like,” Dion told HuffPost Canada on Tuesday. “There’s a limited number of ways to hit our target. It’s not going to be easy but it’s doable.”
The commission is funded and supported by groups such as the Ivey Foundation and Metcalf Foundation, as well as Suncor Energy and TD Bank. Its authors work at universities across the country, including Simon Fraser, the University of Calgary, Queen’s and HEC Montreal.
In the commission’s first option, Canada could hike its carbon price to $229 per tonne by 2030 and continue distributing the revenue to consumers in the form of income-tax rebates. Canada’s current carbon price is $20 per tonne.
Those rebates could decrease Canadians’ income-tax rate between one and seven percentage points, depending on the province.
Consumers and industries would also be incentivized by the market to change their behaviour, the researchers suggest.
The final option is for the government to focus on industries — requiring them to reduce emissions by two-thirds while funding nearly two-thirds of low-carbon alternatives, for example. Funding for this option would also come from tax increases. Costs would still be passed to consumers in the form of higher prices, Dion said.
“There’s a temptation out there, wishful thinking, that we can do this in a way that only burdens industry. But it’s a false distinction,” he said.
Please click on: Hiking Carbon Price