The revenue-neutral carbon tax: an idea whose time has come? The British Columbia government has just introduced a carbon tax, starting at $10/tonne in July 2008 and rising to $30/tonne in 2012. All revenues from the tax (close to $2 billion over three years) will be returned to taxpayers in the form of income tax cuts, reducing income and corporate taxes to the lowest levels in Canada. Details from the BC budget. Globe and Mail. [more inside]
The Canadian government has released its new Turning the Corner plan for regulating greenhouse gases, setting mandatory intensity-based emission targets (18% reduction over three years) for major industrial sectors. Firms exceeding their targets will be required to pay $15/tonne starting in 2010. Expected cost: $7-8B per year, offset by an expected $6B benefit from improved health. Kyoto targets won't be reached until 2020, eight years late. Reaction from industry, Alberta, the Opposition. Previous proposal from Opposition leader Stephane Dion. Previously.
The Toronto Globe and Mail on climate-change denial in Canada. Includes a description of how donations from oil companies to anti-Kyoto groups like Friends of Science are laundered through the Calgary Foundation and the University of Calgary's Science Education Fund. Previously.
Canadian Paliament ratifies the Kyoto Accord. Someone on this continent had to do it.
As the Alberta government ratchets up its campaign against the Kyoto Protocol (and the Canadian government's support thereof), two environmental groups release a report that argues that Canadians could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent and save $30 billion a year in the process by 2030 (PDFs of the report summary and full report). And, if reducing emissions starts at home, you can apparently cut your own energy bills and emissions in half simply by stopping leaks and drafts in your house.
Alberta will face a disastrous competitive and economic disadvantage if Canada signs the Kyoto accord. Meanwhile, this year has been one of the worst for smog in Toronto. Some municipalities in Ontario are voluntarily looking towards alternate energy sources because they feel, in the long run the costs will be lower (lower health costs, avoiding higher fossil fuel costs, etc. - sorry, no link) What do you think? Is it possible to have economically viable alternative energy, and is the US setting a bad example for countries that feel they need to compete?