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Finally, some clarity in an otherwise muddled national climate debate….

with 12 comments

After about a year of beavering away, the NRTEE released its final advice note today to the Minister of Environment, and more importantly all Canadians (see “>Here). This piece of work sets down some fundamental principles that Canada should follow if longer-term and deeper GHG reductions are to be pursued. While there is some great stuff in the report (and the background paper prepared by Chris Bataille and Nic Rivers and others at MKJA – contact NRTEE for a copy, it is worth it), importantly, I think the report’s greatest contribution is to bring some “street cred” to two concepts:

First, the interim report released in June introduced the concept of an emission price to the media and hence Canadians. Before the June report, the use of this term was not so widespread, but now it is more widely used by the media;

Second, with this report, the carbon tax debate is effectively launched. There is now no hiding from an economy wide carbon tax as a realistic policy choice. I suspect we will now see more discussion at the political level on this. See here for some early evidence.

I think the next important step, as I have said in the past, is to make carbon tax synonymous with “carbon tax shift”, where revenue recycling and tax shifting further other goals. But for now I am just happy the report was (finally) released and is getting such favorable press. The report has legs, and NRTEE deserves credit for having the forsight to call a spade a carbon tax.

Written by Dave Sawyer

January 7th, 2008 at 9:53 pm