Mak­ing pol­lu­tion free again

Standard-Freeholder (Cornwall) - - OPINION -

Re: “Car­bon tax won’t get near emis­sions tar­get,” Nov. 3.

Ob­vi­ously, car­bon pric­ing alone is not enough to meet our Paris goals.

Al­though Cit­i­zens’ Cli­mate Lobby Canada has fo­cused on car­bon pric­ing since 2010, we rec­og­nize other ini­tia­tives are nec­es­sary to avert dis­as­ter and so does the Cana­dian govern­ment.

The Pan Cana­dian Frame­work on Clean Growth and Cli­mate Change in­cludes the clean fuel stan­dard for ve­hi­cles, coal phase­out, meth­ane reg­u­la­tions, and car­bon pric­ing. By cre­at­ing the G7 Oceans Plas­tics Char­ter, a yet-to-be-de­ter­mined but big bite will be taken out of emis­sions. Ac­cord­ing to the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum, at cur­rent con­sump­tion trends, the plas­tics in­dus­try could con­sume 15 per cent of the world’s to­tal car­bon bud­get by 2050.

I lis­ten to ex­perts and the vast ma­jor­ity of economists say that, al­though not a stand­alone pol­icy for ad­dress­ing the cli­mate cri­sis, pric­ing car­bon pol­lu­tion is the most eco­nom­i­cally ef­fi­cient way to re­duce emis­sions.

In spring 2018, the Pem­bina In­sti­tute launched an on­line cli­mate pol­icy sim­u­la­tor avail­able for all to use. The sim­u­la­tor al­lows the user to as­sess the ef­fec­tive­ness of in­di­vid­ual poli­cies on green­house gas emis­sions from Canada to mid-cen­tury.

The take-home mes­sage in work­ing with the Pem­bina pol­icy sim­u­la­tor is, in agree­ment with the con­sen­sus of cli­mate change economists, car­bon pric­ing is an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of a cost-ef­fec­tive cli­mate plan and it is im­pos­si­ble to meet our Paris goals un­less car­bon pric­ing is one of the pol­icy tools im­ple­mented.

I would like to thank Post­media for en­dors­ing car­bon fee and div­i­dend in the syn­di­cated ed­i­to­rial, “Here’s how to make car­bon pric­ing hon­est” on Sept. 12, 2017. This is pretty close to what Trudeau has en­acted, ex­cept the car­bon pric­ing stops ris­ing in 2022 and there are no bor­der car­bon ad­just­ments.

Con­ser­va­tive-minded peo­ple want rev­enue-neu­tral­ity and eco­nomic ef­fi­ciency. Canada’s car­bon pric­ing pol­icy of­fers both of those el­e­ments. As well, un­der Trudeau’s car­bon pric­ing plan, the vast ma­jor­ity of Cana­di­ans will come out ahead and be more pros­per­ous.

I am left won­der­ing if Premier Moe, Premier Ford and the Hon. An­drew Scheer have been prop­erly de­briefed about the IPCC’s 1.5 C Oc­to­ber 2018 re­port? We are at the cusp of global dis­as­ter, and car­bon pric­ing is key for cre­at­ing a livable world in 2040. At this point, won’t po­lit­i­cal lead­ers be held legally re­spon­si­ble for not abid­ing by the expert ad­vice of the IPCC?

In the face of all this ev­i­dence, do Con­ser­va­tives want to make pol­lu­tion free again?

Pol­lu­tion is not free, and we no longer have the lux­ury of time for them to play cut-and-thrust po­lit­i­cal games. The fate of what civ­i­liza­tion will look like in 2040 is now in all our hands: the me­dia, the peo­ple and the politi­cians.

Cathy Or­lando In­ter­na­tional Out­reach Man­ager Cit­i­zens’ Cli­mate Lobby Canada

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