‘It pun­ishes peo­ple’

De­spite re­port on role of car­bon taxes in fight­ing cli­mate change, Ken­ney’s stance un­changed

StarMetro Edmonton - - FRONT PAGE - Hamdi Is­sawi An­drew Jef­frey De­bate on car­bon tax. More at thes­tar.com/ed­mon­ton

De­spite find­ings pre­sented in a new United Na­tions cli­mate change re­port that un­der­scored the im­por­tance of a price on car­bon in al­le­vi­at­ing the prob­lems of a warm­ing planet, Ja­son Ken­ney re­it­er­ated his op­po­si­tion to Al­berta’s car­bon tax pol­icy.

The leader of Al­berta’s of­fi­cial op­po­si­tion, the United Con­ser­va­tive Party, called Al­berta’s car­bon tax “all eco­nomic pain and no en­vi­ron­men­tal gain,” while speak­ing to the Cal­gary Cham­ber of Com­merce on Mon­day.

Ken­ney added that the tax’s pos­i­tive ef­fects were neg­li­gi­ble for a cold, sparsely pop­u­lated north­ern econ­omy.

“It pun­ishes peo­ple for — not do­ing some­thing that’s a vice — driv­ing peo­ple to work, liv­ing nor­mal lives, run­ning small busi­nesses,” Ken­ney said.

But the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional re­port, re­leased by the UN’s In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change, painted a grim pic­ture of a world warmed to 2 C, com­pared to one curbed at half a de­gree less.

It said that would mean the dec­i­ma­tion of coral reefs com­pared to a 70 to 90 per cent loss; sea lev­els ris­ing 10 cen­time­tres higher than the al­ter­na­tive; and an ice­less, sum­mer Arc­tic Ocean ev­ery 100 years, as op­posed to ev­ery decade.

JEFF MCIN­TOSH/ THE CANA­DIAN PRESS

Ja­son Ken­ney, leader of the United Con­ser­va­tive Party, told the Cal­gary Cham­ber of Com­merce this week that the car­bon tax’s pos­i­tive ef­fects were neg­li­ga­ble for a cold, sparsely pop­u­lated north­ern econ­omy like Al­berta, reit­er­at­ing that the tax is “all eco­nomic pain and no en­vi­ron­men­tal gain.”

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