Fee and Dividend vs. Cap and Trade

Caterina Lindman represented the Citizen’s Climate Lobby at the Waterloo Region Climate Consulation at Kitchener City Hall in August.  CCL is a strong advocate for the Fee and Dividend carbon tax; which is why one of the things she spoke about was the CCL recommendation to begin with a $30 per tonne carbon tax in 2018, with annual increases of $10 per year.

Caterina Lindman (Citizens Climate Lobby) speaks to discussion facilitators at the Waterloo Region Climate Consultation, August 18th, 2016
Caterina Lindman (Citizens Climate Lobby) speaks to discussion facilitators at the Waterloo Region Climate Consultation, August 18th, 2016

Earlier this month the Canadian Government announced its plan to implement a Carbon tax.

“It will start at $10 per tonne and increase by $10 each year, up to $50 a tonne by 2022. Trudeau added that the tax will be revenue neutral for the federal government. Proceeds from the tax will be returned to the provinces where they were collected.

“Trudeau said that details regarding implementation will largely be left up to the provinces. Each jurisdiction should decide on whether they want a cap-and-trade system (the sort of scheme favoured by the Obama administration) or a direct price on greenhouse-gas emissions (like with B.C.’s system for taxing air pollution).”

— Justin Trudeau announces national carbon tax will begin at $10 per tonne in 2018 and rise from there to $50

Although we are pleased Canada finally understands the need for a carbon tax, we would be much happier if the initial figure were higher.

The other issue is the federal Government’s failure to insist on the use of a Carbon Fee and Dividend plan instead of leaving it up to the provinces.

Let’s let this wonderful graphic created by CCL to explain why Fee and Dividend is the best option:

CCL Fee and Dividend infographic
Citizen’s Climate Lobby Canada explains How Carbon Fee and Dividend works.

Although it also puts a price on carbon, Cap and Trade works differently, more like a game of monopoly that allows wheeling and dealing with carbon emissions. Evidence from elsewhere demonstrates that it doesn’t really work, let alone foster a transition from carbon to sustainable energy.  There is also growing evidence Cap-and-trade? Not so Great if you are Black or Brown.

Although it sounds lovely that the plan is revenue neutral to the Federal Government, but not if it becomes a cash cow to the provinces.  But perhaps worse, instead of being revenue neutral, the carbon tax funds collected are not distributed among the people, it becomes a source of government income.

Can you remember the last time a government willingly gave up a source of revenue?

Me either.

Our Californian friends can tell us: Why fee and dividend is better than cap and trade at fighting climate change.  Although it is not enough, even a weak carbon tax is a baby step in the right direction.

Energy East Pipeline

You can’t, however, say the same about fossil fuel pipelines.


Credits
Explainer video and Fee & Dividend Infographic by Citizen’s Climate Lobby
E
nergy East Pipeline and Caterina Lindman photos by Laurel Russwurm, released under a Creative Commons Attribution License

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s