Reducing Emissions and Creating Jobs
The world has already warmed about 1 degree Celsius from greenhouse gases. Past CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions commit us to another three quarters of a degree or so in the decades ahead. Ultimately, global greenhouse gas emissions from human activities must be reduced by 60-90%. Yet Canadian emissions continue to increase. The current Canadian government has committed to a 17% reduction in CO2 from 2005 to 2020. However, the expected 2020 value is expected to be close to the 2005 benchmark because the implementation of industry regulations is slow. See Canada’s Emission Trends, 2013, Environment Canada . Some politicians have questioned why Canada should act any faster, given that we produce only about 2% of the world’s CO2. For comparison, Canada’s contribution to the Second World War made up only about 2% of allied forces, but no one questions the importance of that contribution to the world!
We need more effective ways to reduce our carbon emissions. Fortunately, one such policy exists: a carbon tax which gives companies and individuals the incentive to reduce emissions. In short, we tax the things we don’t want (e.g., pollution) and use that money to lower taxes on things we do want (e.g., jobs). A carbon tax is simple to administer and implement.