Written by Richard Fidler and first published at Life on the Left Blog
The federal policy is set out in what they call the Pan-Canadian Framework on Green Growth and Climate Change. It has “four main pillars: pricing carbon pollution; complementary measures to further reduce emissions across the economy; measures to adapt to the impacts of climate change and build resilience; and actions to accelerate innovation, support clean technology, and create jobs.”
Carbon pricing is the key “pillar” and it takes two forms:
In fact, carbon taxes will always be limited to ensure that Canadian businesses are not disadvantaged by competitors’ prices and to avoid economic disruption that would motivate greater market intervention. But they are largely ineffective in reducing GHG emissions.
Both the UN Environment Program and the OECD have noted the inadequacy of Canada’s emissions reduction targets.
Furthermore, the transition itself is a source of supplementary emissions, that must be offset if the carbon budget is not to explode. (Think of the energy required in building electric-powered vehicles to replace the existing vehicle fleet, no matter how composed.)
Financing – Major tax reforms, increased high marginal tax rates. And cut useless expenditures, beginning with all military not converted to a home defense militia.
Also, we need to center the working class in a just transition: Decommodify survival by guaranteeing living wages, healthcare, childcare, housing, food, water, energy, public transit etc.
Ultimately, we need a different kind of government with the political will to lead, coordinate and consolidate the transition, a government based on the support and protagonism of the victims of climate change, not its perpetrators.