Putting a Price on Carbon

The Climate Change Forum filled the Isabel Bader Theatre to its 475 seat capacity.  The Forum reviewed the two mechanisms that are recognized as effective ways of putting a price on carbon: a carbon tax and “cap and trade”. The four panellists, Gray Taylor, Nic Rivers, Katie Sullivan and David Robinson, analysed the issues that must be considered by any government implementing either of these two mechanisms.

The two commentators, Lynn McDonald and Kristyn Annis, provided a general review of the current status of the international and national climate change measures.

The audience voted in favour of “putting a price on carbon” 474 to 1.  The audience also submitted nearly forty questions concerning the two pricing mechanisms!   These questions concerned economic, political and legislative issues that could arise in connection with the implementation of these mechanisms.  Panelists/Commentators/4RG members will answer these questions on our Website.

Quotable quotes from the presentation by panelists/commentators.

Lynn McDonaldLynn McDonald, former Environmental Critic of the New Democratic Party
We could get a strong climate action plan adopted in Canada, with carbon pricing, through a coalition or accord at the October 2015 federal election, if the 60% majority organize it.


Kristyn Annis, President, Canadians for Clean Prosperity.

We’re placing a fee on greenhouse gas pollution because it imposes real costs on society and the average family, not because government needs more revenue.  The only way to capture that cost and charge it back to polluters is by virtue of a fee.  In a sense, it’s a fee to use the atmosphere to dump greenhouse gas pollution – the same way it is to take your trash to the dump.  Polluters should be responsible for their costs, and we should use those revenues to grow the economy by reducing taxes on jobs and income.

David Robinson, Associate Professor of Economics, Laurentian University

Carbon taxation is preferred by most economists. Using the word “fee” is a more neutral label. An equal distribution of the fee revenue makes the necessary increases politically feasible.

Read David’s answer to the first question here.

4RG along with Citizen’s Climate Lobby and the University of Toronto School of the Environment sponsored the Forum.

Here is the complete video of the Forum.


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