In this week's issue, the Economist, a mostly right-wing publication, outlines the proper policy to follow in order to effectively mitigate climate change. It suggests putting a carbon price on carbon of $40 per tonne, preferably through a carbon tax. In comparison, Stephane Dion's proposed carbon tax was only $10 the tonne. Yet the Economist maintains that such measures would only reduce world GDP by 1%, if measures are properly implemented.
This is policy that flies in the face of what Stephen Harper's government has been maintaining on the environmental file, namely that cuts greater than 20% by 2020 will be disastrous for the economy. This coming from a publication that sides with Harper on most other issues is indicative of the wide divide that has formed between Canada and the rest of the world. Canada, which signed the Kyoto Protocol, is now only slightly ahead of Obama's hope of cuts of 4% over 1990 levels. That we are slightly better than this is little excuse, as we signed onto Kyoto in 1992.
Stephen Harper should follow the worldwide trend towards a more serious tackling of the problem, and that starts in Copenhagen. If we accept the advice of economists and impose a $40 price on a tonne of carbon, we would be able to develop significantly our green industry, but most importantly, we would be able to lead for a legally binding treaty that is tough on emissions in Copenhagen.
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