We assess the economic and environmental case for biofuel policies in Canada and examine the extent to which biofuel policies have achieved their stated objectives. The report finds that biofuels policies have reduced GHG emissions by 3 Mt per year, however they have done so at a very high cost. Finally, we conclude that low-carbon transportation policies are still needed to complement carbon pricing policies.
Research & Reports
More stringent carbon pricing policy leads to greater emissions reductions. This report seeks to provide governments with a common, consistent framework for comparing the stringency of provincial carbon pricing policies. It considers five metrics of stringency, including two new metrics that seek to account for design differences between provincial policies.
The primary objective of carbon pricing is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But the price is only half the story. Carbon pricing can generate substantial revenue for provincial governments. How this revenue is recycled back into the economy can affect both economic and environmental objectives. Provinces need to choose wisely their portfolio of revenue recycling options.
While a $30 carbon price in Canadian provinces would impose small costs on households, fairness concerns can be successfully addressed through revenue recycling. As a result, fairness concerns should not be an obstacle to implementing carbon pricing.
In Canada, only a small number of industries, representing a small share of our economy, would face competitiveness concerns resulting from comparatively higher carbon prices. However, lowering carbon emissions and keeping businesses competitive require addressing these challenges. Provincial governments can do so effectively with targeted, transparent, and temporary policy measures.
Traffic congestion costs Canadians. Pricing congestion is the missing piece of our urban mobility puzzle. Canada should begin exploring congestion pricing policies now with urban pilot projects supported by all levels of government.