With Canadian governments poised to move forward on climate change laws in the near future, Sustainable prosperity has released a list of the key principles needed for effective carbon pricing – whether through a carbon tax or cap and trade. The report, based on a year-long dialogue among top economic, business and environment leaders, also evaluates and ranks existing carbon laws and proposals across the country against these principles.Sustainable Prosperity identified eight key principles that should guide’s approach to carbon pricing:

  1. Comprehensive: across all sources and sizes of emissions with no exemptions
  2. Nation-wide: a federal framework is needed to establish a minimum carbon price across the country.
  3. Simple and readily implemented: avoiding complex rules and exemptions, and with a short lead time to come into effect.
  4. Transparent and accountable: to ensure its integrity, any new policy must be accompanied by a clear analysis of its expected economic and environmental effects, including a clear accounting of amount and use of any revenues raised.
  5. Complemented by other measures such as improving the efficiency of vehicles, homes and appliances, and promoting technology research and development where a price signal alone is insufficient.
  6. Environmentally effective in meeting the jurisdiction’s medium and long-term emissions reduction targets
  7. Ultimately comparable to carbon prices in other countries
  8. Predictable but adaptable to provide investment certainty but respond to changing scientific knowledge, international agreements, or unanticipated emissions reduction responses.

Click here to read a full description of the 8 Principles

Do any of Canada’s existing climate policies meet these Principles? Sustainable Prosperity compared climate carbon pricing plans and policies across the country and found that B.C.’s carbon tax was the most closely aligned with these recommendations. Here are the final compatibility results:

  • Alberta’s 2008 Climate Change Strategy 30% compatible
  • Western Climate Initiative 48% compatible
  • Federal Government’s Turning the Corner 48% compatible
  • Quebec and Climate Change: A Challenge for the Future 65% compatible
  • British Columbia’s Climate Action Plan 87% compatible

For the full report click here

For more information on Sustainable Prosperity click here

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