Car­bon tax is a start

The Daily Press (Timmins) - - OPINION -

re: Joe Pot­ter’s let­ter to the ed­i­tor (The daily Press, Nov. 7, 2018).

in his let­ter to the ed­i­tor, Joe Pot­ter of st Catharines is very crit­i­cal of the Cana­dian Gov­ern­ment’s ef­fort to re­duce green­house gases (GhG) by im­pos­ing a car­bon tax on those prov­inces that do not have a plan of their own. of course he is welcome to his opin­ion and he ex­presses his opin­ion quite force­fully but not par­tic­u­larly po­litely.

at the end of his let­ter mr. Pot­ter states, “our path for­ward should be fol­low­ing swe­den’s fan­tas­tic record of 99% re­cy­cling, not a car­bon tax.”

a check of swe­den’s web­site con­firms that nearly 99% of swe­den’s house­hold waste is re­cy­cled in one way or an­other and that about one half of house­hold waste is burnt to turn it into en­ergy.

swe­den’s record on re­cy­cling is im­pres­sive. but what is swe­den’s po­si­tion on car­bon tax? an­other check of a swedish gov­ern­ment web­site tells that swe­den in­tro­duced a car­bon tax in 1991. This is in ad­di­tion to an en­ergy tax. since 1991, swe­den’s gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GdP) de­vel­op­ment has in­creased by 75%. and in that same time pe­riod their green­house gas emis­sions have been re­duced by 26%.

That web­site has an in­ter­est­ing state­ment: “Car­bon tax pro­vides in­cen­tives to re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion im­prove en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and in­crease the use of re­new­able en­ergy al­ter­na­tives.”

There is much we can learn about re­duc­ing green­house gasses (and re­cy­cling) from coun­tries like swe­den. but it’s a very dif­fi­cult task when even the mod­est at­tempt by our present fed­eral gov­ern­ment to in­tro­duce a plan to re­duce green­house gasses is at­tacked, pri­mar­ily for po­lit­i­cal rea­sons.

yes, we are 27 years be­hind swe­den in us­ing a car­bon tax to re­duce green­house gasses. it’s un­for­tu­nate that we can­not put our po­lit­i­cal am­bi­tions aside on this im­por­tant is­sue and al­low those who do have a plan to make a start on the process.

Gerry Mc­Nair,


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