LASER TALK: Let’s not forget the Goal – Emissions Reductions

LASER TALK: Let’s not forget the Goal – Emissions Reductions

LASER TALK: Let’s not forget the Goal – Emissions Reductions

As climate activists, what is our most important goal? 100% renewable? An effective carbon price?

Actually, the most important goal is to reduce GHG emissions. In the complexity of policy options, it is easy to lose sight of that.

For example, when we focus on solutions with technological preferences in mind, like renewable energy or electric cars, there is a grave risk. Once locked into solution mode, we can miss what could have been better ways to reduce emissions. As well, promotion of a single “solution” by government can be seen as a government cash grab that may not even reduce emissions.[1] Being solution focused can also be seen to significantly restrict producer and consumer choice, which can limit support for change, entrenching opposition to climate action.

We hope Canadians take lessons from south of the border and the election of Donald Trump. A criticism on the right side of the political spectrum is that climate policies are not about reducing carbon emissions, but about bigger government. If we don’t listen to the criticisms about climate policies, we risk going backward on the climate file at election time.

Even with carbon pricing, it is essential that we keep our eye on the overriding goal – emissions reductions.  It can be too easy for governments to implement carbon pricing for just a few sectors or at much too low a rate, but still brag that all the work is done. This happened in British Columbia when the carbon price was frozen for years. [2] The government boasted of a world class carbon pricing policy while emissions kept rising

A well designed carbon fee and dividend is designed to effectively reduce emissions. A study prepared for Citizens’ Climate Lobby by Regional Economic Modeling Inc. predicts carbon fee and dividend in the USA would reduce emissions by 50% below 1990 levels within two decades — far beyond what our governments are talking about [3].

So let’s keep focused on the endgame – lower GHG  emissions. [4]






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