New Report Shows Urgent Need for Stronger Climate Policies from Canada's Government

Jan. 7, 2008

In a report released today, the independent National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) showed that the government will fail to reach its own climate change targets unless it dramatically strengthens its policies. The report is the latest in a series of independent studies to reach the same conclusion.

The NRTEE is an arms-length expert advisory body that reports to the Minister of the Environment. In a report entitled Getting to 2050: Canada’s Transition to a Low-emission Future, the NRTEE demonstrated that Canada can make deep cuts to its greenhouse ga s (GHG) emissions without harming its economy — but only if it puts a strong price on emissions while regulating emissions from sectors that don’t respond well to price signals

“Today’s report shows that Canada urgently needs either a real cap or a tax on GHG pollution,” said Clare Demerse, Pembina Institute. “So far, the government has completely failed to commit to an adequate price on emissions. As the NRTEE points out, we’re also still waiting for a comprehensive, Canada-wide plan to cut emissions.”

Based on economic modeling, the NRTEE’s report concluded that taking strong action now will cost Canada’s economy the least, while delaying action will force higher costs over the long-term.

“The NRTEE has demonstrated that any delay in action has significant environmental and economic costs,” said Graham Saul, Climate Action Network Canada. “There is no longer any real debate among the experts about the actions we need to take. The only question is why the government isn’t listening.”

The report concluded that Canada can cut its GHG pollution deeply at a cost of less than one year of GDP growth from now to 2050 (this means that Canada would reach the GDP level in 2051 that it would have otherwise reached in 2050.) The report called this potential slowdown “not significant”, and also showed that taking action quickly minimizes any potential costs to Canada’s economy.

“The National Roundtable’s analysis and advice has been in the government’s hands for months without action. Further delay in constraining global warming emissions condemns both the economy and the environment to serious impacts,” said Julia Langer, WWF-Canada.

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For more information, please contact:
Clare Demerse, Pembina Institute, 613-762-7449
Graham Saul, Climate Action Network Canada, 613-558-3368
Julia Langer, WWF-Canada, 647-400-9579


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