Friday, October 24, 2008

Study blasts one-size-fits-all approach to climate change

Canadian Press: A new study on the economy and the environment recommends the federal government combat climate change with a "silver buckshot" of policies rather than a single silver bullet. No one policy is adequate to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, concludes a report released Friday by the Pembina Institute.

The 120-page report, commissioned by the TD Bank, says governments should instead consider a range of options when crafting environmental policy. Those options could include a cap-and-trade system, a carbon tax, a fund for offsets, tougher regulations, targeted financial incentives, investments in infrastructure and technology and a national emissions target for 2020.

"A comprehensive suite of policies . . . is likely needed to capture cost-effective, emission-reduction opportunities that would go unrealized with carbon pricing alone," the report says. Even though multiple policies are needed, it's important to keep carbon-pricing policies as simple as possible, said Matthew Bramley of the Pembina Institute, one of the report's authors.

"Every additional complication . . . is an additional source of delay and debate and dispute and attempts by one sector or another to gain an advantage," he said. The report does not recommend emissions targets. It says further study of specific policies and price levels is needed.

"I don't think there is a credible body of research that nails down 'this is the way to approach it, and this is the way to hit various different targets'," said Don Drummond, chief economist at TD Bank….

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