Introduction

On April 30, 2018, the Canadian Federal government released a report on Facebook[1] entitled “Estimated Results of the Federal Carbon Pollution Pricing System” (herein after ‘Carbon Tax/GBA’ [Gender Based Analysis]) which included appendices and a short Gender Based Analysis. This document responds to that work.

The Canadian federal government is working hard to convince Canadians that a price on carbon (meaning carbon dioxide, or CO2, not elemental carbon/soot) will not have any significant negative economic impact on individuals or specific groups or genders, and that it is the most effective way to reduce emissions to ultimately meet the Paris Agreement targets. They claim the economy will be enhanced.

We dispute these claims and the findings of their report.

  1. The document and policy fail Canadians due to errors of omission of context.
  2. Some of the sources cited are suspect due to offshore financing of various policy documents issued by the sources’ authors.
  3. Lots of ‘coulds,’ ‘may,’ ‘likely,’ do not constitute a cost-benefit analysis.
  4. The document is rife with unsupported claims of how the price on carbon will measurably: a) reduce emissions; b) beneficially affect climate change and temperature; c) affect actual economic impact.
  5. Thorough sectoral analysis is absent.[2]

This review will not be comprehensive in scope; there will not be any need. Simply by setting the context, it will be clear that a carbon pricing plan is destructive to the Canadian economy and to virtually all Canadians in one way, shape or form.

As noted in our rebuttal “Let Them Eat Carbon”[3] to the Ecofiscal Commission’s “Clear the Air…” report, the impacts of a price on carbon are many:

  • it disadvantages the poorest,
  • destroys competitiveness,
  • puts a deadweight on the economy[4]
  • does not reduce emissions by much, if at all.[5] [6]
  • it creates another layer of government, and a tantalizing pot of money that rarely stays ‘revenue neutral’ for long.[7]

Advocates of carbon pricing insist that ‘it gives you a choice.’  Canada’s unique expanse, long, dark, very cold winters, and large sectors of resource development, agriculture, forestry and mining mean we don’t have a choice. We must use lots of oil, natural gas and coal to survive.

If there is any choice – Canadians will reject putting a price on carbon – which is an invisible substance each person breathes out at 40,000ppm with each breathe.

CHECKSTOP: Challenging the Canadian Federal Government’s Carbon Pollution Pricing System Results Report

LINK: Challenging the Canadian Federal Government FINAL-R-2 May 2 2018

 

 

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[1] https://www.facebook.com/notes/environment-and-climate-change/estimated-results-of-the-federal-carbon-pollution-pricing-system/747010079020953/

[2] For example: https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/47490b9d-5805-4be3-8174-068d72ec9101/resource/d118ada7-d99c-4ede-bd36-8a1df7f05d9b/download/Alberta-Economic-Multipliers-2013.pdf

[3] http://blog.friendsofscience.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Let-Them-Eat-Carbon-FINAL-R-1-April-18-2018.pdf

[4] “deadweight loss” to the Canadian economy, in the sense that the indirect costs to the economy as a result of reduced funds to reinvest and reduced funds to pay workers exceeds the direct costs of funds paid to governments.

[5] Alberta Climate Plan with a C$30/tCO2 tax is forecast to reduce temperatures 0.0007°C by 2030. https://friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/AB_Climate%20Plan_Economic_Impact_Gregory_Tech.pdf

[6]  “All climate policies by the US, China, the EU and the rest of the world, implemented from the early 2000s to 2030 and sustained through the century will likely reduce global temperature rise about 0.17°C in 2100. ”  http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2017/06/09/the-cop21-agreement-just-the-facts-please/

[7] +60% of revenues ..went to members of the EU; globally, only 29% recycled as tax exemptions. 34% subsidized GHG reduction projects;37%, the largest share, allocated to general budget. http://blog.friendsofscience.org/2018/03/18/the-global-panorama-of-carbon-prices-in-2017/