CCL Canada Education: CARBON TAXES OR CAP AND TRADE TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS with Dr. Nicholas Rivers

CCL Canada Education: CARBON TAXES OR CAP AND TRADE TO REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS

Dr. Nicholas Rivers, Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Nik RiversNicholas Rivers is the Canada Research Chair in Climate and Energy Policy.  His research focuses on the economic evaluation of environmental policies, using econometric and computational methods. He has received awards for his research from the Trudeau Foundation, the Social Science and Humanities Research Council, and the National Science and Engineering Research Council. He currently serves as a co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He earned his Master’s and doctorate degrees in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, and also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

 

 #1: VICTOR DORIAN EDMONTON:  I have a question, which is more of a social/political one than a technical one. Some Alberta farmers were recently asked about their opinion on our recently introduced carbon tax. It seemed all were vehemently against it! This is in spite of the fact that marked farm fuels will be exempt from the carbon levy. There will also be some energy efficiency programs for farmers. Economic analysis in dictates that the effect of carbon taxes will be minimal on costs and competitiveness with other jurisdictions, however, farmers believe carbon taxes will make no difference to the environment and will affect them negatively. There is also much disinformation swirling about among all Albertans, with respect to our carbon tax.
QUESTION: How do we combat these negative, typically emotionally based perceptions? 
 
#2: LAUREL THOMPSON IN MONTREAL: Mr. Rivers, we are starting to confront some of the issues buried in the Liberal’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change with two different pricing mechanisms being used to price carbon — cap & trade and a straight carbon tax.  As you know, there could eventually be a big difference in price per tonne between the two systems. The carbon tax will increase much more quickly than the price of permits under cap & trade, on account of the fact that the latter are traded and the price for permits is currently low in California. This difference may not go over well with provinces who have to pay a much higher price. Mark Purdon at IQCarbone argues that emissions reduction is what counts (see letter below). Quebec and Ontario have achieved the greatest reductions in GHG’s.
QUESTION: 
However, since we still have a long way to go, my question to you is, despite the fact that they are currently doing better than any of the other provinces in GHG reduction, how could ON and QC get their price per permit up or reduce their emissions even more, given that they use a trading system with California?
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#3 JUDY O’LEARY AND LAURA SACKS in NELSON BC: Have carbon price equivalents already been calculated for cap and trade systems in Ontario and Quebec and how wide is the range on those price equivalents? Is there any agreed upon independent body in Canada to determine the price equivalents for the federal plan? Is there any local control in QC and ON, or is it all dependent on California? 

#4: CATHY ORLANDO SUDBURY: W
hat complementary policies directly related to carbon pricing could provinces enact to get emissions down?.
 
#5 MIKE GEISLER in NELSON (IF TIME): Are there situations when neither a carbon tax nor a cap and trade system is as efficient or effective as a regulation in delivering GHG reductions? [eg application of BC’s Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirement regulation has made up 25% of the net reduction in provincial GHG emissions between 2007 and 2012.[same time period as BCs increasing carbon tax]]

Our Next CCL Education Call will be Tuesday, February 28, 2017 at 1 pm PT / 4 pm ET on the Canadian Uberline.