Ecofiscal’s greatest hits
If you’re heading to the polls on Monday, carbon pricing (and climate policy more generally) may be one of the many issues informing your vote. Before you cast your ballot, we wanted to briefly interject and share some of our resources. To cut through the overload of news and commentary, we’ve assembled a quick digest that may help you through your thinking as you weigh your options and make your decision.
We’ll see you on the other side.
The objective of carbon pricing
Carbon pricing works. It reduces emissions at the lowest possible cost, and unlike most taxes, generating revenue isn’t the point of carbon pricing.
- Six places where carbon pricing is working. From Sweden and Japan to the United States and British Columbia, carbon pricing has a track record of success.
- The point of a carbon price is to avoid paying it. No one wants to pay less income tax by earning less money overall. But we can all come up with clever ways to avoid paying carbon taxes.
- A tax is a tax, except when it isn’t. For many people, the term “tax” implies cost. But the benefits of a policy are just as important.
The details of carbon pricing in Canada
Myths are all too pervasive in the Canadian conversation around climate and carbon pricing.
- The facts about carbon pricing in Canada. Economists agree: Carbon pricing is a practical and fair policy, and it should be a central piece of Canada’s approach to climate change. It ensures that polluters pay for the costs that their pollution imposes on others.
- Output-based pricing, explained. Carbon pricing comes in many flavours. In Canada, output-based pricing applies to industries that are “emissions-intensive” and compete in international markets. This mechanism protects investment, competitiveness, and jobs, while creating an incentive to reduce emissions.
- There’s more consensus on output-based pricing than you think. Pretty much every province agrees that output-based pricing is a smart approach — even if they call it something else.
Why we need climate policy
Canada can’t just be a spectator on climate change.
- The costs of climate change are rising. Not acting on climate change will be far more costly than ambitious climate action.
- Why 1.6% matters. Canada is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases of any nation—top 10 by most measures. Don’t let anyone tell you that the example we set with our climate policies doesn’t matter.
Costs will always matter
There are a number of advantages to reducing emissions as cheaply as possible.
- In defense of cost-effectiveness. Minimizing the costs of climate policy really matters. Not only does carbon pricing give us the best “bang for our buck”, but policies that minimize cost are more likely to survive multiple electoral cycles.
- The worst climate policy is an uncertain one. Ripping out climate policies that households, businesses, and investors have already adjusted to will increase the cost of reducing emissions.