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 tax they would universally apply. That way exporters in one country would not be disadvantaged because competing exporters in other countries benefitted from a lower carbon tax rate. See our blog: A Carbon Tax is the answer!
A member of the audience, perhaps doubtful whether an agreement on a universal rate would be reached, asked about border tax adjustments. Countries could impose an equalization levy on goods imported from a country that either does not have a carbon tax at all or has a carbon tax at a lesser rate. This way the international competitiveness of domestic industry could be preserved. Dion thought that this approach might be contrary to the regulations of the World Trade Organization. Without changes to these regulations a border tax would lead to fiscal repercussions, and perhaps even a trade war.
This past weekend, Dion took his message to the United States. He spoke at a Washington D.C Conference on the them: North America Should Lead the Way Toward A Worldwide Harmonized Carbon Price.
Quite a change from our usual Canadian missions to Washington: our Prime Minister, the Premier of Alberta, our Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, our Ambassador – all trying to flog tar sands oil and the Keystone XL Pipeline, the infrastructure that will carry it through the US and to the world!