About: Dale Beugin

Recent Posts by Dale Beugin

A final note on Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission

This week, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission released its final report. While we have a few loose ends to tie up in 2020, the report signals the end of our research mandate. Over the last five years, we’ve contributed to policy conversations across Canada about water, waste, traffic, risk, and climate change. […] More

America’s reinvigorated debate on carbon pricing

Don’t look now, but the conversation around carbon pricing has some momentum in the United States. Both sides of the aisle are taking the idea as seriously as they have in a while. The IPCC report, youth mobilization, and the possibility of a Green New Deal has energized Democrats and […] More

Exception to the Rule: Why New Brunswick’s Industrial Carbon Pricing System is Problematic

New Brunswick’s draft carbon pricing plan for big emitters came out last week, and it raises some interesting and important questions. As Ecofiscal has noted before, well-designed “output-based carbon pricing systems” are a good way to reduce emissions and protect businesses’ competitiveness. We’ve argued that providing targeted support for “emissions-intensive […] More

Gear shift: Alberta’s climate policies poised for big changes

Today, Alberta’s newly-elected government will table the Carbon Tax Repeal Act. If the bill proceeds as expected, the carbon levy could be gone as early as next week. However, that doesn’t mean the end of the province’s climate policy discussion. We’ll use this blog to explain what the changes mean […] More

Carbon pricing is boring

If you judged by Twitter alone, you could be forgiven for thinking carbon pricing was as controversial as the colour of a certain dress. And look, I get it. On one hand, there’s increasing apprehension around the costs of climate change. On the other, there’s anxiety around the affordability of […] More

An explainer on the federal carbon pricing backstop

Yesterday, the federal government announced the details of its carbon pricing “back-stop.” The plan lays out an approach to filling the gaps across Canada in provinces that aren’t implementing their own carbon pricing policies.  It also considers the net impacts on people in those provinces.  The upshot? The system is a […] More

Alberta falling behind in making manufacturers reduce waste

Here’s an unpopular opinion: we should spend more time thinking about garbage. After all, waste management services are essential for Albertans. But they’re also not free. A new report from Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission argues that we can do better. With better waste policies, we can make our waste system more […] More

To avoid catastrophic climate change, we need carbon pricing

On Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its latest report, affirming that humanity has about a decade to hold global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees C. Hours later, William Nordhaus became a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize for economics. His work was some of the first to describe […] More

On Provincial Climate Policy and Early Action

When it comes to provincial climate policy, not every province is starting from the same place. Some, for example, have previously implemented policies to reduce GHG emissions. Should provinces be able to use these “early actions” to justify implementing less stringent carbon pricing policies now? In short, no. Here’s a […] More

Fair comparison of the cost of climate action needed in Saskatchewan

by Brett Dolter & Dale Beugin The Saskatchewan government released a two-page press release last week describing the impacts of carbon pricing, alongside a report from the University of Regina. More evidence about policy options is always welcome. But evidence is only helpful when used in context. For three reasons, […] More

If not carbon pricing in Ontario – which works well – then what, Mr. Ford?

by Dale Beugin, Don Drummond, Glen Hodgson and Mel Cappe We’d like to correct the record on some of the myths and misunderstandings surrounding carbon pricing. The economic evidence clearly contradicts some of the recent rhetoric coming from Ontario. In short: Carbon pricing works. Carbon pricing is cheaper than any […] More

Cost Control: The cost-effectiveness of a Clean Fuel Standard

by Dale Beugin and Nic Rivers The most significant greenhouse gas policy you’ve probably never heard of—the federal Clean Fuel Standard (CFS)—is being developed this winter and throughout 2018. The federal government is looking for substantial emissions reductions from the policy. But a key question is how much will those […] More

Maintaining momentum: only additional emission reductions, please

Today, the federal government sent letters to its provincial counterparts laying out a timeline for implementing pan-Canadian carbon pricing. It lays out timing for federal legislation, for the provinces to demonstrate that their provincial policies are consistent with the federal standard, and for the federal backstop to kick in if […] More

Output-based pricing in the real world

This week, Alberta released its Carbon Competitiveness Incentive policy, which lays out the mechanics of its output-based pricing (OBP) system. We’ve talked a lot of about output-based pricing (also known as “output-based allocations” or OBAs) here at Ecofiscal as a sensible way to maintain incentives to reduce emissions, while also […] More

Details matter for Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade system

Nova Scotia is moving forward with a provincial cap-and-trade system. It’s great the province is embracing carbon pricing, and Ontario and Quebec have shown that cap-and-trade can work. Still, choosing carbon pricing is just the first step. Carbon pricing is the lowest-cost approach to reducing GHG emissions—but only if it’s […] More

Smooth transitions: Shifting from cap-and-trade to a carbon tax

by Dale Beugin, Blake Shaffer, and Trevor Tombe Members of Ontario’s PC Party have voted strongly in favour of replacing the province’s current cap-and-trade system with a federally administered carbon tax. There would be important pros and cons for such a transition, should the PCs come to power in 2018, […] More

Brian Pallister chooses his own path for carbon pricing in Manitoba

The news from last week: Manitoba is moving forward with its own Made-in-Manitoba Climate and Green Plan. Kudos to Manitoba and the Pallister government for stepping up on carbon pricing and putting forward a plan that seems to have support from a broad set of interests. But how do the […] More

Backhanded complements, redux: complementary policies and linkage

Lately on the Ecofiscal blog, we’ve gone on at length about designing complementary, non-pricing policies that support — and not undermine — carbon pricing. Our focus, as always, has been policies that reduce more emissions at lower cost. But pretty clearly, some governments are also implementing some relatively high-cost ­ […] More

Can subsidies for electric vehicles “boost the signal” from carbon pricing?

Québec car buyers might have more than one reason to consider an electric vehicle (EV). For one, Québec’s cap-and-trade system increases the cost of gasoline. But the province also provides a cash rebate for going electric. Does that combination makes for good policy? Does Québec — or for that matter, […] More

How emitters respond to carbon pricing and to revenue recycling

A carbon price pretty clearly creates incentives for emitters to produce fewer GHG emissions. But there’s more than one way to reduce emissions. In today’s blog, I’m going to dig into the vault, and pull out an old piece of modelling analysis that didn’t quite make it into our reports, […] More

In defense of cost-effectiveness

Here at the Ecofiscal Commission, our focus on the costs of policy is a bit of a calling card. Yes, we are absolutely interested in the effectiveness of environmental policies (i.e., to what extent do they reduce pollution or environmental damage?) But as a panel of economists, the Commission also […] More

Fishing for complements

Carbon pricing isn’t the only tool in the climate policy tool kit. Yet not all policies that reduce GHG emissions do so cost-effectively. Which other GHG policies might make economic sense? Can they make sense in addition to carbon pricing? Or even instead of carbon pricing? Let’s play “complement or […] More

Carbon Pricing and Innovation

“Innovation” is buzzy these days, with lots of smart people thinking and writing about the role of policy in driving innovation to improve productivity and economic growth. And yes, innovation is great. It lets us use inputs—like capital, labour, and resources—more efficiently. It’s especially important in our efforts to reduce […] More

Unpacking the WCI: Backhanded complements?

As we’ve noted in our summer blog series, California has a cap-and-trade system. But it’s also got a low-carbon fuel standard. And a renewable electricity portfolio standard. And vehicle emissions performance standards. And a swath of other policies to reduce GHG emissions. In fact, the California Air and Resources Board […] More

TLDR: Comparing Stringency of Carbon Pricing Policies

We have a new report out this week on comparing the stringency of provincial carbon pricing policies. In case you don’t have time to read it all, this blog provides quick overview of the essentials. Be sure to check out the full report for (much) more detail. Comparing stringency is […] More

Summer daze: comparing carbon pricing policies

Summer in Canada: time to lounge by a lake, right? Well, not if you’re part of the federal-provincial working group on carbon pricing (or, for that matter, a dedicated Ecofiscal Commission researcher…). For carbon wonks, the arrival of summer this year means we’re well into a six-month process initiated at […] More

Q&A on BCAs: Border Carbon Adjustments

I’m getting lots of questions these days about “border carbon adjustments” (BCAs). After all, BCAs sit at the intersection of carbon policy and trade policy, and what wonk can resist that combination? So as we start to move toward broader carbon pricing policies in Canada, let’s take a closer look […] More

TLDR: Choose wisely when recycling revenue from carbon pricing

The Ecofiscal Commission’s new report takes a look at how provinces could use revenues generated by a carbon tax or cap-and-trade system. In case you don’t have time to read the report in full, here are the essentials. Provinces are moving forward with carbon pricing to reduce their greenhouse gas […] More

Federal mechanisms for carbon coordination

As part of our ongoing blog series, we are exploring some of the difficult questions around designing a coordinated provincial-federal carbon pricing strategy. As the Prime Minister and the Premiers head into meetings next week in Vancouver, it looks like one role of the federal government could be to establish […] More

There and Back Again: Subnational, National, and International Climate Policy

by Dale Beugin, Research Director The road to Paris and the 2015 UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) seems to be increasingly crowded. It starts with the provinces. Ontario is working out the details of its cap-and-trade partnership with Quebec, and new recommendations are imminent from both Alberta’s and BC’s […] More

The way forward for BC

British Columbia’s carbon tax has been at the forefront of carbon pricing policy in Canada since 2008. But now that other provinces are catching up, what’s next for BC? The province’s Climate Leadership Team has been working on potential next steps in BC’s climate policy. In the run-up to the […] More

How does Ontario’s Cap and Trade Program Design Options consider competitiveness pressures?

Today, let’s talk about competitiveness pressures on industry under carbon pricing and how carbon pricing policy can be designed to address these concerns. And in particular, let’s take a look at how Ontario’s draft proposal for its cap-and-trade system considers these challenges. I’ll get (a little bit) into the weeds, […] More

Four Things You Should Know about Carbon Offsets

Last week, Ontario and Quebec announced that they’d be collaborating on a carbon offset system as part of their respective cap-and-trade policies. What’s an offset, you ask? And what are the implications of this provincial tag-team, you wonder? As usual, the Ecofiscal blog has you covered. 1. What a Carbon […] More

Alberta looks for a way forward on carbon

We’ve written before about why Alberta should move forward with carbon pricing policy, but also take the time to get design details right. So far, so good. Having already appointed economist Dr. Andrew Leach to chair an advisory panel, last Friday the province released its Climate Leadership Discussion document, kicking-off […] More

Toronto Climate Summit: Local to Global Carbon Pricing

This week, climate policy folks from across North and South America are converging on Toronto. A major focal point of discussion will be the role of subnational carbon pricing policy. Ecofiscal has put quite a lot of thought into the idea that provincial carbon pricing might be practical way forward […] More

The Wonk’s Tale: in which I run a cap-and-trade system

With Ontario joining Quebec and California in the Western Climate Initiative, cap-and-trade is all the talk these days. In principle, we know that it can work just as well as a carbon tax, if designed and implemented well. But cap-and-trade is clearly more complex and a little abstract. And as […] More

Carbon pricing revenue: Let me count the ways

Every so often, the research team here at Ecofiscal will venture out into the blogosphere. Sometimes, we’ll share additional analysis that didn’t quite make it to a report. Sometimes, we’ll elaborate on more technical ideas or data that the main reports consider only briefly. And sometimes, we’ll just take the […] More

Stringency: How Strong is Your Carbon Policy? (Do the Math)

Every so often, the research team here at Ecofiscal will venture out into the blogosphere. Sometimes, we’ll share additional analysis that didn’t quite make it to a report. Sometimes, we’ll elaborate on more technical ideas or data that the main reports consider only briefly. And sometimes, we’ll just take the […] More

How You Do that Voodoo: Modelling carbon policy

Every so often, the research team here at Ecofiscal will venture out into the blogosphere. Sometimes, we’ll share additional analysis that didn’t quite make it to a report. Sometimes, we’ll elaborate on more technical ideas or data that the main reports consider only briefly. And sometimes, we’ll just take the […] More

Can incentives protect Canada’s clean water?

Clean water is a vital, valuable resource for Canada. We drink it. We grow food with it. We generate power using it. We use it as an input to industry, from manufacturing to oil and gas production. We swim, splash, and paddle our canoes in it. And clean water isn’t […] More

TLDR: Research from our First Report in a Nutshell

The Ecofiscal Commission’s first report makes the case for implementing ecofiscal policies in Canada. In case you don’t have time to read the full report, this blog distills the essentials. Our overall conclusion is simple: Smart environmental policy makes economic sense for Canada. In short, the benefits of such policies […] More