Globe and Mail
OTTAWA — The Canadian
economy can transform itself into a clean-running green machine by 2050,
slashing its emissions by more than half with very little economic pain, say the
authors of a new report from the National Round Table on the Environment.
The federally-funded advisory panel is urging government
leaders to quickly put a “strong” price on industrial emissions of greenhouse
gases and air pollutants and says the sooner the better for both the economy and
The report urges Canadian politicians to focus the
debate on either a carbon tax, a cap and trade system, or both.
A carbon tax would force industry to pay a fee for every
tonne of harmful emissions released into the atmosphere. A cap and trade system
would allow companies to emit up to a specific cap. Permits to emit above the
cap would have to purchased from companies that have lowered their emissions
below their cap.
“Our findings suggest that in the long-run, the overall
effect on Canada’s gross domestic product will not be significant, amounting to
the equivalent of approximately one to two years of ‘lost growth’ of GDP between
now and 2050,” said David McLaughlin, the President and CEO of the panel.