ec•o•fis•cal policy /ekōˈfiskəl/ adj.
An ecofiscal policy corrects market price signals to encourage the economic activities we do want (job creation, investment, and innovation) while reducing those we don’t want (greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of our land, air, and water).
Environmental disasters — for example, train derailments, tailings pond failures, or oil spills — are infrequent, but also potentially costly. The economic activity that drives our prosperity comes with risk to the environment. We cannot eliminate that risk, but we can do more to manage it. Putting a price on environmental risk is key to doing so.
We’ve come a long way in Canada. We have real, working examples of both carbon taxes and cap-and-trade systems. Yet the growing consensus around carbon pricing is not yet universal. This essay unpacks carbon pricing in (mostly) jargon-free language. Just the facts.
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Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission
Practical solutions for growing prosperity
Traffic congestion, overflowing landfills, and urban sprawl—these are some of the biggest challenges facing Canadian cities. We look at how new policies can make urban life more livable. Learn more.
From carbon pricing to energy subsidies, we analyze the policy opportunities and challenges defining Canada’s climate and energy landscape today. Learn more.
Can you put a price on clean water? We examine new Canadian policy solutions for water pollution, over-consumption, and infrastructure. Learn More.
Meet the people behind the Commission
Smart policy means using revenue from pollution fees to reduce taxes in a way that encourages job creation and gives money back to families.
Our generation’s decisions will profoundly shape the economic and environmental opportunities of future generations. This is particularly true in the North, where our livelihoods and cultural ways of life are already being significantly impacted by climate change. Getting the right, smart policies in place now can, and should, be our legacy.
This is about showing governments that sensible policy tools can reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions while helping the economy—and also be consistent with their provincial priorities.
We need to be thinking about how to stay competitive not just in five or 10 years, but also in 20 and 50 years. The Commission is focusing on solutions that will make Canadian industries more competitive in a rapidly changing global economy.
Canadian competitiveness concerns require making smart ecofiscal decisions, not delaying them.
I joined the Commission because our future prosperity depends on our ability to grow in the context of a healthy environment. We need smarter fiscal policies to get there.
If we do it right, these policies will protect the most vulnerable Canadians. This is about being smart in our policy choices—but it’s also about being fair.