Thursday, September 16, 2021

A comparison of federal parties' climate change plans

Respected climate economist Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University has put the climate change policies of the three main federal parties under the microscope in the run-up to next week's election, and his conclusions make interesting reading.

All three parties have ambitious carbon reduction targets: the NDP is pursuing a target of 50% below 2005 levels by 2030, the Liberals 40%, and the Conservatives 30%. But, as Professor Jaccard notes, these mean nothing if there are not policies in place to achieve them, and these are what he has been analyzing.

The Liberal plan (a carbon tax rising to $170 a tonne by 2030, with protections for exporting industries) gets a score of 8/10, and Prof. Jaccard believes the measures are sufficient to achieve the target, and will result in a bearable 2.5% drag on GDP over the next 9 years.

The Conservative plan (based on a much lower carbon tax, using a carbon savings account) garners a 5/10 score, and has a decent chance of meeting its goal, with a modest hit of 2% to GDP.

The NDP's plan, on the other hand, the most ambitious at first glance, gets a terrible 2/10 score, lacks critical details, and is considered unlikely to meet its goals without a carbon tax rate at least double that of the Liberals, with a huge 6.5% hit to GDP over the next decade.

Professor Jaccard, therefore, recommends that people for whom climate change is a top issue look at the plan in detail rather than just trusting to the stated goals.

No comments: