Sask. Party misses point on car­bon price

Regina Leader-Post - - CITY + REGION -

The Saskatchewan Party re­mains stri­dently op­posed to car­bon pric­ing. The gov­ern­ment de­fends this po­si­tion by stat­ing that

B.C.’s car­bon tax is in­ef­fec­tual. How­ever, a re­cent re­view from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplo­macy at Tufts Univer­sity con­cluded that B.C.’s car­bon tax “re­duced emis­sions be­tween five and 15 per cent, ab­sent of ad­di­tional pol­icy, when com­pared to a busi­ness-as-usual sce­nario.” The study goes on to con­clude that B.C.’s rev­enue neu­tral car­bon tax has re­duced emis­sions with few neg­a­tive ef­fects on the econ­omy. The Fletcher School is widely re­garded as one of the world’s fore­most grad­u­ate schools of in­ter­na­tional af­fairs.

By ap­ply­ing a price to car­bon, in­dus­trial and con­sumer prac­tices will change to lower-cost, lower-emis­sions op­tions fol­low­ing mar­ket-driven, cost-ef­fec­tive path­ways. Re­cently, China launched the world’s largest cap and trade sys­tem. The de­ci­sion to im­ple­ment a car­bon pric­ing mech­a­nism in China was based on sound eco­nomic prin­ci­ples.

The Sask. Party states that, over the next five years, a car­bon tax would cost Saskatchewan $4 bil­lion. This is sim­ply er­ro­neous, in that car­bon taxes would raise $4 bil­lion in rev­enues that would re­main within the prov­ince. A rev­enue neu­tral car­bon tax would see these funds dis­persed to in­dus­try, the pub­lic and farm­ers.

By op­pos­ing car­bon pric­ing, the Sask. Party clearly has no

in­ten­tion of im­ple­ment­ing wellestab­lished, mar­ket-based, cost­ef­fec­tive mech­a­nisms to re­duce emis­sions. An op­po­si­tion to car­bon pric­ing is, through in­ac­tion, a form of cli­mate change de­nial.

David D. Maenz, Saska­toon


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