Emissions will rise under Conservative climate plan

Categories: News
Published on: August 23, 2019

National Observer / Marc Jaccard / 23 August 2019

For more than two decades, I have evaluated promises by Canadian politicians to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My work would be straightforward if a politician committed to a rising carbon price or to technology regulations of increasing stringency. Either of these policy approaches would transparently reduce GHG emissions by an amount we evaluators could reliably estimate, based on long-standing research showing how firms and individuals respond to changes in relative energy prices and emerging technological options for adopting low-GHG energy in buildings, transportation and the production of goods and services.

Unfortunately, Canadian politicians have rarely implemented the essential carbon pricing and/or regulatory policies. Instead, they offer lists of activities and programs that are either silent on policy or suggest that non-compulsory policies, like information campaigns or subsidies, will cause significant reductions — which is not the case. The Conservatives’ proposed climate plan fits this pattern, and my modelling suggests it would ultimately result in increased GHG emissions between 2020 and 2030.