A critical election

We live on Bowood Avenue in Toronto.   A street that is also a community.  Many young families and lots of kids. When I see them skipping along the street, hear them play in their back yard, watch them shoot hoops in their front yard, I think “These are the grandchildren we are trying to protect.” …

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At last: a Canadian Statesman

At the 4RG Guelph Climate Change Forum, Stephane Dion did not back away from his support for a carbon tax as the best legislative weapon to reduce Greenhouse Gases that are largely responsible for climate change. He suggested that at the 2015 Paris Conference on climate change countries could agree on the level of carbon …

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A carbon tax is the answer!

Stephane Dion

At 4RG’s Guelph Climate Change Forum Stephane Dion laid it on the line:  the world needs to price carbon if there is to be a chance of reducing GHG emissions from fossil fuels. One effective way for a country to do that is by introducing a carbon tax.

Dion considers that this step might well be taken at the next significant Climate Conference: Paris, 2015.  Yet this requires leadership, and Dion could not say which international leader or which country would provide that leadership.

Dion referred to the experience of several Provinces in Canada that have introduced a carbon tax in one form or another:  BC, Alberta and Quebec.

BC is the Canadian poster child for a carbon tax.  A few days before Dion’s remarks, the Secretary of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (0ECD) had this to say about the BC experiment:

“It is important to note that not all governments have shied away from explicit carbon taxes. Since Sweden introduced its carbon tax in 1991, an additional nine OECD countries have followed suit. We have learned a lot from these experiences on how to introduce carbon taxes. For example, introducing the taxes incrementally over time can allow households and businesses to make smooth, efficient adjustments. The implementation of British Columbia’s carbon tax is as near as we have to a textbook case, with wide coverage across sectors and a steady increase in the rate, from CAD 5 to CAD 30 per tonne over a period of five years.”

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Carbon Tax – Ready For Polite Society?

For some time now I have had the sense that the concept of Carbon Tax is becoming a more acceptable dining room conversation topic, so yesterday I decided to poke around the web to see what I could see. While I didn’t find direct proof that there’s more than last year, I  certainly found no shortage of interesting, provocative commentary and I am now comfortable talking about it with anyone.

It seems obvious to me that if we want to discourage the use of fossil fuels we should increase the price. The generic name for this idea is a Price on Carbon. This includes Carbon Tax and Cap & Trade, but what do these mean? Many commentators justify the tax saying that it addresses the cost of the damage done by burning carbon.

The simplest description of a Carbon Tax that I found was by James Hansen:  1) A fee is charged at the point of origin or point of import on greenhouse gas emitting energy (oil, gas and coal).  2) The fee is progressive (increases gradually) over time.  3) The fee is returned to the public. Read his full description of what it is, why it will work, and why the Climate Lobby prefers to call it Fee and Dividend.

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