National round table concludes that long-term economic costs will not be significant
Ottawa (7 Jan. 2008) - The independent National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (NRTEE) has issued a new report saying Canada will fail to reach its climate change targets unless it dramatically strengthens existing policies.
It is the latest in a series of independent studies to come to the same conclusion. The NRTEE is an arms-length expert advisory body that reports to the federal environment minister.
In a report entitled Getting to 2050: Canada’s Transition to a Low-emission Future, the group shows that Canada can make deep cuts to its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions without seriously harming the economy.
“Today’s report shows that Canada urgently needs either a real cap or a tax on GHG pollution,” says Clare Demerse of the Pembina Institute. “So far, the government has completely failed to commit to an adequate price on emissions. As the NRTEE points out, we’re also still waiting for a comprehensive, Canada-wide plan to cut emissions.”
Strong action now
Based on economic modeling, the NRTEE’s report concludes that taking strong action now will cost Canada’s economy the least in the long-run.
“The NRTEE has demonstrated that any delay in action has significant environmental and economic costs,” adds Graham Saul of Climate Action Network Canada (CANC). “There is no longer any real debate among the experts about the actions we need to take. The only question is why the government isn’t listening.”
The report says Canada can cut its GHG pollution deeply at a cost of less than one year of GDP growth between now and 2050. In other words, Canada's level in 2051 would be the same level that it would otherwise have reached in 2050. The report says the potential slowdown is “not significant” and it also shows that taking action quickly minimizes potential costs to the economy.
“The national round table’s analysis and advice has been in the government’s hands for months without action. Further delay in constraining global warming emissions condemns both the economy and the environment to serious impacts,” says Julia Langer of WWF-Canada.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring that our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
(Published as n07ja08b.htm)