Ottawa – Canada can succeed economically while meeting targets to reduce global warming pollution, according to an economic modelling study commissioned by the Pembina Institute and the David Suzuki Foundation.
- Canada’s gross domestic product would continue to grow at 2.1 per cent per year on average between 2010 and 2020 while meeting the 2Â° C target, compared to 2.2 per cent for the government’s target and 2.4 per cent under business as usual.
- Canada’s total number of jobs would grow by 11 per cent between 2010 and 2020 while meeting either target — essentially the same rate as under business as usual.
- The urgent need to address very high emissions in Alberta and Saskatchewan would significantly reduce projected growth rates in these provinces. However, Alberta’s per capita GDP would continue to be much higher than that of any other region, and Saskatchewan’s per capita GDP would stay close to the Canadian average.
- To meet the 2Â° C target, a carbon price would start at $50 per tonne in 2010 and reach $200 per tonne by 2020. To meet the government’s target, the carbon price would need to reach $100 per tonne by 2020, or $145 per tonne if Canada does not purchase any international credits.
- Almost half of carbon price revenue can be returned to Canadians through reductions in income tax. Revenue from carbon pricing can also fund major public investments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as building smart grids and transit infrastructure.
- Technological approaches to achieve major reductions in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions range from increased energy efficiency and renewable energy to carbon capture and storage.
The Pembina Institute and David Suzuki Foundation view the study as an important contribution to current public policy dialogue on greenhouse gas reductions in the lead up to the December UN climate summit in Copenhagen.