What are the lessons from utilities’ energy efficiency programs for spending carbon pricing revenues and building low-carbon transition organizations?
This morning Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment introduced legislation required to create a cap and trade system.
I took a quick read of the legislation and here are my thoughts.
Political expediency seems to be motivating the design of Nova Scotia’s carbon pricing system, potentially creating negative consequences for the environment and economy. Last week, the province released a discussion paper on its proposed cap and trade system to comply with the federal government’s plan for a pan-Canadian carbon price.
What Innis’ thought teaches us is that Canada might have a particular role to play when the American Empire gets out of whack. Thus, it is a time for the Canadian nation to actively consider how it can play a constructive role in the changing world order.
Nova Scotia policymakers should have known for some time that carbon pricing is coming. The province should be prepared to succeed in a low-carbon future because of the earlier actions the Premier mentions. It is now time to build on those earlier actions and make the province prosper in a green energy economy.
The sooner we dispel ourselves from the myth that the market alone will solve the climate change problem, the sooner we can start to ensure more technology and sector specific policy approaches are implemented effectively and democratically.
Social democrats should be the most capable of piecing together a perspective that recognizes the concrete conditions that exist today alongside the need for a fundamental, long-term, green transformation.
So policymakers and climate activists should heed Jaccard’s advice in taking politics seriously. I would suggest that doing so requires thinking more about the kind of policy mix needed to reinforce economic transformations and paying less attention to economists fixated on “first-best” and “second-best” policy instruments, while dismissing everything else.
The solution is not to give up on carbon pricing, as Trudeau seems to be suggesting. Rather, we should put more policy items on the cupboard. A policy framework that supports regionally specific low-carbon transition processes would complement a national carbon price quite nicely.